Artist: The Raveonettes
Album: In and Out of Control
I have often complained about my TJ Maxx shopping experience in these pages, my main issue being their great values come paired with equivalently horrendous music. But I do have to thank the curators of crap (new band name!) for introducing me to The Raveonettes in the form of their blandly entitled (but splendidly catchy) "Christmas Song" (profiled in post #61). So, in a rather thin year for music, I turn to the Danish duo's 2009 offering In and Out of Control for some inspiration.
It may be cruel to feature "Bang!" in the dead of winter—the song seems tailor-made for the top-down experience. Made from equal parts fuzz and fun, the Raveonettes single plays like The Beach Boys with no production budget or maybe The Velvet Underground (a primary influence) with hooks. Known more for shoegazing than toe-tapping, "Bang!" is a charming bit of American Bandstand-style pop that could have played well in almost any decade but probably missed its chance to be lucrative by about 45 years.
Need an example of how creative you can be with nothing but the I-IV-V progression? Verse: I-IV-V, Bridge: V-IV-V-IV-V; Chorus: I-IV-V—there, I just taught you the whole song. (Well, not entirely. The instrumental solo features the equally familiar I-vi-IV-V progression found in the remainder of songs from the 1950s.) One of the standout details for me in this twee pop gem is how the backing vocals during the bridge (Bang bang b-bang, b-bang bang b-bang...) kind of forecast the rhythmic feel of the chorus. I'm also a sucker for the syncopated stutter of the previous example and on the word "fun" during the chorus. It's an adorable song until you notice the lyrics:
Bang you're so vicious babyThese lyrics are par for the course for The Raveonettes, who are partial to dark topics even when they paint with pastel brushes. If you like noise and melody, I recommend you check out more songs by The Raveonettes!
Bang you sure know how to control me
You're as cool as ice cream
Bang you're so evil baby
Bang you're no sweetheart baby
Bang you keep me blushing all the time