Great album, definitely one you can stick on from start to finish. I bought after hearing It Came From Japan while playing Crash n Burn on the PS2 as a kid. Never realised how versatile their sound would be. Great spoken word track on there called 'Cass and Henry' as well as a nostalgic sounding song called 'No Sugar Mama'. The album closes with a hidden track, a cover of 'Bring it on Home To Me' by Sam Cooke - I love the laziness of the Von Bondies version. Apparently mixed by Jack White of the White Stripes at a time when JW was on his game with almost everything he touched.
It's no suprise that the White Stripes have claimed to be fans of The Von Bondies even inviting them to support them on tour, this album bears more than a fleeting resemblance to the White Blood Cells album which opened the flood gates for the 'new retro' bands who have fascinated the British music press. However, this doesn't mean that 'Lack of Communication' fades away into obscurity in comparison to the strokes/ white stripes/ hives phenomena. You see, something sets this album apart. The title track, actually sets the tone for the whole album and instantly a word which can't be used to describe many current bands springs to mind...'Punk.' Not punk as it is used by the modern day American pop bands, rather to describe the truly live, spontaneous sound produced. It's still retro, underproduced rock and roll but heavier, there's something more unusual. The title track set the tone for the rest of the album, the first 30 seconds alone are enough to alert the listener to the fact that this isn't background music, this is to be listened to because while it's not lyrically profound it's also not pretentious and that in itself deserves to be commended. With similar bands flooding the music scene The Von Bondies had to give us a reason to buy this album, and they have. Somehow they picked up on a tiny gap in the market and filled it with this wonderful collection of 11 songs with real energy. The only thing you are left wanting after listening is to see the band perform live.
It took a couple of listens (and a live show) before I really got into this record. The melodies aren't that obvious to start with but after a while the sound gets very addictive. Highly charged ,blues wailin', garage punk with slightly lo-fi vocals. This album is the bees knees and I'm not just saying that because of the gorgeous bassist, this band really rock! The NME seem to think garage punk is a new thing with all their raves about the White Stripes and The Hives. It's not retro, it's never stopped since the sixties! The Von Bondies (and their Detroit brethren) are just a continuation of the fine tradition of garage or trash punk expertly executed by bands like The Sonics and The Wailers. Check out The Oblivians for a sorta similar kinda sound, or Jack 'o Fire if you want more bluesy. Or if you wanna stick with the Detroit sound, go buy some Gories, Come Ons, Detroit Cobras and Dirtbombs.
The Von Bondies hail from the same city, same record label and probably even the same studio as the much hyped White Stripes (in fact Jack White produced this album too) but they are a pretty different sound. Where the White Stripes seem to strip away all excess baggage and use only vocals, guitars and drums, The Von Bondies use all the usual band line up to produce some high quality alt-rock, sounding quite like surf rock in places...although I'm not sure Detroit has a great surfing tradition! Sounding somwhere between The Pixies and their label mates The White Stripes, any fan of their's will probably be a fan of The Von Bondies!
this is an incredible album with such a variety of sounds, from blues, to garage, to rock etc. The standard of playing is what makes this really stand out as there are incredible things being done with the guitars and a relentless beat and rhythm section fully backing them up. It is because of this that the actuall vocals can be overlooked at first, and the lyrics ignored, however after acknowledged one can marvel at the intelligent lyrics and admire the diversity with the male/female touches. I cannot stress enough what an amazing album this is, with songs switching tempo and direction half way through and with such an edgy rough sound it is easy to immerse oneself in the music so much so as to forget that they are actual seperate songs, not one long continous blusey rock epic masterpiece. That being said the tracks to look out for are: lack of communication, going down, cass and henry, nite train, rock'n'roll nurse.
on the strengh of seeing this band live I recommend them, they capture the same raw retro rock feel as the white stripes, but yet still have their own style.A brilliant new band to add to the new and incresing detroit music scene.