The Von Bondies ? Love, Hate And Then There?s You (Fierce Panda)18/05/09

May 18, 2009 by  


Love, Hate And Then There?s You is the third album released by The Von Bondies, five years after the successful Pawn Shoppe Heart. Despite backroom issues that would easily have sunk another band, Stollsteimer and co have managed to produce an album that should do okay, if not spectacularly.

The Von Bondies
came to the public eye most prominently back in December 03, when Stollsteimer and former friend Jack White decided to take an argument out into the streets of Detroit. The spectacular black eye that resulted had the knock on effect of putting The Von Bondies squarely on the front pages.

Fast forward 5 years. The buzz has almost entirely dissipated. An acrimonious split from Sire Records didn?t help matters. Neither did losing bassist Carrie Smith and guitarist Marcie Bolen (reportedly the cause of the White/Stollsteimer feud).

Now, with less expectation weighing them down, and with the help of new bassist Leann Banks and Christy Hunt on guitar, The Von Bondies look to reclaim their former place in the foremost echelons of indie heroes.

Unfortunately, it will take a bit more than Love, Hate And Then There?s You to boost them back to the dizzy heights. ?This Is Our Perfect Crime? almost makes you believe that it?s possible. It is a raucous, rough and visceral assault of a song, reacquainting us with the fuzzy guitars and boy/girl vocals that used to set The Von Bondies out from the crowd.

?Pale Bride? is the kind of track that quickly takes the wind out of your sails. Devoid of any personality, the melodramatic ?I don?t care anymore? chorus and tone is an instant switch off. If Jason doesn?t care, why should we?

There are good moments to be found. ?21st Birthday? is a not a bad little tune. When the faux-emotion is tuned down a little, the music can be engaging and memorable. Christy Hunt demonstrates how ably she can fill Bolen?s shoes with some well-judged hooks.

?Accidents Will Happen? is another highpoint. A song with swagger, it brings to mind early Killers or The Strokes. And that is by no means a bad thing.

?Love, Hate And Then There?s You? does a good job of reminding you why you used to like The Von Bondies all those years ago. It is not going to make any great impression on the charts, but at least the engine is ticking over.

By Liam Clune