Stephin Merritt appropriately titled his new collection of reverb pop songs Distortion, but as it's played out in this first quarter of 2008, that title should belong to The Raveonettes. In fact, why not have the two artists do an exchange: Lust Lust Lust (a title that also serves Merritt appropriately...) goes on over to the Magnetic Fields, while Distortion trades over to The Raveonettes.
While their melodies aren't nearly as sophisticated as Merritt's - The Raveonettes' tunes stay loyal to the songs of the spectacled Lubbock, Texas songman they honor in namesake - they cover-up their shortcomings by globbing on feedback and alien boy/girl harmonies a la My Bloody Valentine (not especially good songwriters either...).
Track # 4, "Dead Sound", from the new Lust Lust Lust, is the mightiest example of this formula. It's nothing but physical, visceral pleasure. These are chords and melodies and hooks (a drum machine/xylophone break lifted straight from Suicide's "Cheree") that you've heard before, but that's the point. The Raveonettes are archivists, pale-faced pop chemists rejecting the idea that no sound is indeed ever dead... they might just need to be retroactively defibrillated now and then.