If Jason Stollsteimer (singer/guitarist) had not taken the beating of his life from Jack White late last year then you probably wouldn’t be seeing Von Bondies posters splashed all over Wellington. Nor would you have seen them on Juice TV or C4’s Select. The band was, after all, just the poorer Detroit cousins of The White Stripes. Their debut ‘Lack of Communication’ gathered little attention among the deluge of similar garage rock offerings being shoved down our throats at the time of its release. Pawn Shoppe Heart though shows that there is more to the band than being a bit shit in bar room brawls (did you see Jason’s face after the fight? He took a hiding!!).
The album doesn’t piss around and gets straight into the fray with opener ‘No Regrets’ which sounds very glam; T-rex spring to mind. Second track ‘Broken Man’ reminds me eerily of our very own late great garage band Two Lane Blacktop’s ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, with amps cranked up to breaking point during the chorus. First single ‘C’Mon C’Mon’ thunders along with an oh so catchy chorus. The album does eventually stop for a breather on the slightly mopey ‘Mairead’ but apart from that the album runs along at a breakneck pace. One particular track of note is ‘Right of Way’ which seems to ape Eric Burden and the Animals. Hardly as cool as ripping off The Stooges or Television but it sounds incredible – very sixties!
The album is shamelessly retro but if you have been into the garage scene at all over the past few years then you won’t care; if you haven’t, then just steer clear. The record combines raw garage punk, glam and a bit of the blues to create a stunning album which should at last let the Detroit garage scene have more than one band in the international spotlight.