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Chain Gang of Love - the Raveonettes

By Ben Lueck
On September 24, 2003

"This is WHIPLASH rock 'n' roll," reads the cover of the Raveonettes debut full-length. Chain Gang of Love will definitely make you look twice - especially if you're one of the many who wrote the band off after last year's Whip It On EP. That outing - which included the M2 favorite "Attack of the Ghost Riders" - found music fans fairly evenly split into two camps. There were some who enjoyed the band's dirty guitar rock, and then there were some who simply dismissed the Danish pair as just another boy/girl two-piece with a gimmick (all eight songs were recorded in B-flat minor, using only three chords).

Well, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are back, and while the process is still the same (still only three chords - this time in B-flat major), the sound is shockingly different. While Whip It On sounded the soundtrack to a slasher flick about 50's street thugs, Chain Gang of Love is more like something you'd sing along to at a 60's beach-party... being thrown by the kid at school who keeps getting caught with a butterfly-knife and a pack of cigarettes rolled into his sleeve.

The guitars bounce/grind along with a blend of surf-punk and Britpop (think Stoned and Dethroned-era Jesus and Mary Chain) while Wagner sings about everything from love to... well, making out and having sex and "love tornadoes."

If you enjoyed Whip It On, you'll most definitely be pleased with this album, and even if you didn't, you might just find Chain Gang of Love pleasantly surprising.

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