Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Music Review: A.A. Bondy
When The Devil’s Loose
* * * * *
this is a hammer
this is a hymn
this a match to a ball of light
this is the blade
this is the beauty
these are the stars raining down from the sky
this is the light that shines and I can see the pines are dancing
this is the leaving of another love
this is the howling at the moon
these are the arms you fell into
I am a fire and I must burn today.
-I can see the pines are dancing
The way music is now, so specialized and saturated, novelty seems to trump everything else in terms of praise and attention. This album is startling in the fact that it sounds so familiar, that it sounds unapologetically like other bands, and yet is so textured, enthralling, and perfect, that it’s that rare sort of album; a timeless one.
The frontman of one of the former possible “next-Nirvana’s” of the 90’s, Verbana who even attracted Dave Grohl’s attention to produce their first album, Alabama based Scott “A.A.” Bondy has released his second solo-album as an alt-country/folk singer (a style impossible to accurately peg, other than uniquely American). The intimacy of the album suggests a singer/songwriter with the potency of a collective band (Ian Felice, of The Felice Brothers plays guitar), and Bondy’s lyrics are what really sets him apart. If you’re looking for something that sounds cutting edge, you’ll be frustrated; this is the best album Whiskeytown never made or Songs:Ohia with Josh Rouse at the helm.
Few artists are able to keep you interested by lyrics both personal and striking in their imagery, and this is one of the most impressive albums lyrically I’ve heard in a long, long, time. The overall tone and atmosphere created by the album is coherent and effective and keeps you enthralled throughout by its content. In a sense, the album is so well executed, so flawless, that it’s deceiving. It sounds effortless and polished, but there is real emotional and musical depth here which gets to you, bringing you back to the songs again and again. The end result: one of the best alt-country albums of the decade.