Scandinavian pop was jolted out of its winsome blonde torpor a few years ago by the Hives, who simply plugged in and turned it way up. For a one-trick pony, they've been remarkably effective, but they can't rout the girliness of the Cardigans on their own. This is where Denmark's Raveonettes come in. In looking to late-50s/early-60s America, they've produced a second album that smells nothing like any of their contemporaries.
The Raveonettes take their love of the Jesus and Mary Chain to new heights on their sophomore release, Pretty in Black. The Mary Chain's debut, Psychocandy, was a thrilling collision of extreme noise and sticky-sweet melodies; the Raveonettes' debut, Chain Gang of Love, followed a similar formula and came up with similarly thrilling results. The Jesus and Mary Chain's second album, Darklands, stripped away almost all the noise and gave the group's sound a by-the-numbers feel that was only saved by some great songs and the Reid brothers' personas.