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Pawn Shoppe Heart by The Von Bondies

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Reviewed on 17th February 2004.


Pawn Shoppe Heart

By The Von Bondies

On hearing the excellent dumb-garage two-minute "C'mon C'mon" those already familiar with The Von Bondies would have been forgiven for thinking that the new album would be a major step towards a spikier output and away from the fuzzed up blues of "Lack of Communication". Those which had also read of the recent public bust ups with Jack White (producer of LoC) may also have been forgiven for assuming a dramatic change in sound awaited them (one that was well produced for instance). However despite a definite punked up feel to "Pawn Shoppe Heart" and less occurrences of the forgettable blues ambles of the previous outing The Von Bondies have produced an album which adds little new to their armoury.

Don't read this wrong, this is a good album, not outstanding but pretty solid and the regular addition of Carrie Smith and Marcie Bolan chanting in their backing vocals is simply charming! Highlights come from the afore mentioned f*ck you "C'mon C'mon", cool as opener "No Regrets", Breeders styled "Not That Social", the dark punchy "Crawl through the Darkness" and speed romp "Poison Ivy". Lowlights come from the ponderous "Been Swank", the boring "Mairead", and laborious title track "Pawn Shoppe Heart" but that's why we have skip buttons.

This will certainly be an easier album for the uninitiated Von Bondies newcomer providing as it does far more hooks. It's still not quite the complete package but not far away. Anyway Marcie Bolan is the cutest girl to ever pick up a guitar and that should be reason enough to buy the album.



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