The Raveonettes are a perfect example of a band that could have burned bright and flamed out. Their debut EP, 2002’s “Whip It On,” helped lay the bedrock for that era’s guitar-rock revival, and while their contemporaries have come and gone, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo soldier on. Each new release has tweaked their formula, but their latest is an all-out attempt to rip up the blueprint altogether. “Pe’ahi,” released last week with no advance notice, is fraught with tension. Pulverizing guitar assaults suddenly give way to pristine harps, swaggering drum beats, piano interludes, and bridges that take unexpected detours. The album, named after an area on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is also grounded in trauma: Wagner lost his father late last year, and the songs are steeped in a deep awareness of mortality. “I have sand in my shoes, and death on my mind,” he and Foo sing in ghostly unison on the opening “Endless Sleeper,” sounding at once terrified and exhilarated. A decade in, this duo is still drawn to the dark side and the beauty lurking beneath it.
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