The Von Bondies at The Basement
Detroit garage rockers get all glossed up on latest album
Special to Metromix
Detroit alt-rock band the Von Bondies released their third studio album, "Love, Hate and Then There's You," in early February. Now the band is set to come to town March 27 for a show at The Basement to support the record. Here's our take on the album:
The buzz: After some success with “C’mon C’mon” from their 2004 sophomore LP, “Pawn Shoppe Heart,” the Von Bondies finally follow-up with this disc. Frontman Jason Stollsteimer, best known for his 2003 Detroit bar fight with Jack White, remains in the band, as does drummer Don Blum, but the supporting personnel have changed yet again. Another new face pops up on “Love…”—Butch Walker, who’s also co-written and produced for the likes of Avril Lavigne and the Donnas.
The verdict: Walker mans the mixing board on three tracks here, co-authoring two of them, and proves a welcome addition in service to Stollsteimer’s mission: Operation Get Glossy. The Von Bondies have been moving in that direction for a while, increasingly polishing their garage-rock rough edges with a coat of radio pop perma-sheen. It’s often an awkward pairing, but Walker helps marry the two, rendering lead singles “Pale Bride” and “This Is Our Perfect Crime” more successful than they otherwise would have been. But when he tries to go big on his own, Stollsteimer too often shows he should have gone home and tracked the other, self-produced songs in a basement studio with less tacky half-gloss and more raw emotion. His voice is too limited to carry the types of tracks he’s reaching for and the song structures frequently come off as formulaic soft-loud-breakdown bores.
Did you know? “C’mon C’mon” is the theme for Denis Leary’s FX Network drama about NYC firefighters, “Rescue Me.”
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