With his occasional faux-Anglo accent, declarations regarding proper courtship and a love affair with all things retro, Jack White of the White Stripes looks at times to be patterning his image after an old romantic British dandy. Little did we know, he has a wicked left hook. This undercover Detroit rock city street brawler shattered his former persona and brought the Von Bondies into the national spotlight when, because of, shall we say, artistic differences, he threw down with his former production partner and Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer. White effectively rearranged Stollsteimer's face in a style that only a Picasso cubist-period fanatic could appreciate. Post-fight photos, now burned into the cranium of any indie rock fan worth his Chuck Taylors, may take some time to live down, but the Bondies' latest release, Pawn Shoppe Heart, is an excellent start. The band's unabashed, lo-fi, garage-style cock rock packs a retro punch all its own. The testosterone-fueled, ground-shaking tunes are best when sweetened by the candy-coated vocals of bassist Carrie Smith and guitarist Marcie Bolen. "Crawl Through the Darkness" and "Not That Social" would fit well on the FM dial alongside any vintage Cheap Trick tune; they reveal an act whose music won't be overshadowed for long.
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