Thursday, April 15, 2004

What's the big deal about the Von Bondies? "Pawn Shoppe Heart" is all fake fury, no depth or groove. Expectations were high: The VB's are from Detroit and produced by Jerry Harrison (as artist: Talking Heads, Modern Lovers; as producer, Violent Femmes, many others), and the Von Bondies cheering section seemed greased and ready to roar even before "Pawn Shoppe Heart" was released. Yet there isn't a song or strum that sounds original or authentic. The hormonal urgings of "C'mon, C'mon" shouldn't provoke anybody older than 15. There are traces of precursors from Blondie to Mitch Ryder to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, but they're just that: traces, affectations, baubles on a beige dress.
--Wayne Robins

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