Pop & Hiss

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Album review: The Von Bondies' 'Love Hate and Then There's You'

February 1, 2009 |  3:39 pm

Von_bondies240 There are five things that have held the Von Bondies back from truly capitalizing on the band's pop-savvy garage swagger: the fingers on Jack White's punching fist. After Bondies singer Jason Stollsteimer  was on the losing end of a nasty scuffle with White in 2004, the band never really recovered in the public eye. Which is a bit of a shame, because  although its latest album, "Love Hate and Then There's You," is a stereotypical dilution of the Stooges/MC5 canon, there are a few unexpectedly tight tunes that hit as hard as, well, a sock in the eye.

The album owes as much to producer Butch Walker's immaculate pop ear as any Bondie, and the immediacy of cuts such as "21st Birthday" and "Blame Game" proves that good rock music usually benefits from expert second opinions.

The album isn't quite dangerous enough for the committed El Camino and drainpipe-jeans set though.  And this is a terrible time to be making a comeback album.

"Love" likely won't beat those odds.

-- August Brown

The Von Bondies
"Love Hate and Then There's You"
(Majordomo Records)
Two stars