A correction was made to this review on April 11, 2004.
The Raveonettes’ concept is convoluted genius: Mix one part horror-movie chic with Buddy Holly melody and Sonic Youth dissonance and serve in a detached, sexy din. On both last year’s full-length debut, “Chain Gang of Love,” and the 2002 EP “Whip It On” (both Columbia), the Danish duo laid down that oft-melancholy coed beauty in half-hour doses, the perfect amount of time to take it in and leave it be. In an hour-and-a-half set, the songs’ similarities — they’re all in the key of B flat or B flat minor — grate a bit, though, and the conceptual air begins to get a bit stale.
The base duo — blond, striking singer-bassist Sharin Foo and gaunt, stylish singer-guitarist Sune Rose Wagner — approach their playing matter-of-factly, buoyed by their undeniable aesthetic appeal. It’s not quite indie-rock-as-fashion show but it is pretty close; Foo’s eyes are glazed over and directly focused throughout, with Wagner and additional guitarist Manoj Ramdas providing some sort of energetic counterpoint.
When the group decides to let loose instead of drone, on the single “That Great Love Sound” and a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody,” the audience doesn’t know whether to mosh or shimmy, so they do a little of both — and that seems to be just the way the Raveonettes like it.
Opening band the Hiss, on the other hand, like their rock loud, raw and dirty. Like former tourmates Jet, the Hiss use the appropriations of classic rock — the Jagger swagger, the T. Rex chorus and the AC/DC lick — to bash out headbanger-ready roars. If the songs weren’t so good, it’d just seem derivative, but “Back on the Radio” as well as the rest of the set, mostly culled from the band’s Sanctuary debut, “Panic Movement,” is solid, fun, fist-pumping rock ‘n’ roll.
On a tour that finds them playing clubs and opening shows for the Strokes, the Raveonettes will play Gotham’s Bowery Ballroom on May 6.