Pawn Shoppe Heart

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The list of garage bands that have blown out of the Motor City in recent years is mighty impressive, thanks in large part to the fact that each has added its own secret ingredient to the familiar three-chord recipe. The Von Bondies depart from '60s-based stomp more often than most of their peers, allowing a good deal of spaciousness to creep into songs like the haunting, reverb-soaked "Mairead" and taking on a vaguely New Wave?ish tinge on songs such as "Tell Me What You See," where they make the most of their teasing boy-girl call-and-response vocals. The quartet can play things relatively straight-ahead -- as on the pulsing "C'mon, C'mon," which lets frontman Jason ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The list of garage bands that have blown out of the Motor City in recent years is mighty impressive, thanks in large part to the fact that each has added its own secret ingredient to the familiar three-chord recipe. The Von Bondies depart from '60s-based stomp more often than most of their peers, allowing a good deal of spaciousness to creep into songs like the haunting, reverb-soaked "Mairead" and taking on a vaguely New Wave–ish tinge on songs such as "Tell Me What You See," where they make the most of their teasing boy-girl call-and-response vocals. The quartet can play things relatively straight-ahead -- as on the pulsing "C'mon, C'mon," which lets frontman Jason Stollsteimer plead his case in peak Jeffrey Lee Pierce fashion -- or downright weird, as on the hidden closer, a wildly amped-up cover of "Try a Little Tenderness." As you might expect from a band that hails from the home of the Big Three, octane levels remain consistently high, particularly on the prodding, preening "Been Swank" and "Not That Social," sung by lead guitarist Marcie Bolen, who does her best impression of a switchblade-toting Shangri-La. It'll hit you like a set of brass knuckles couched in a cloak of velvet.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The altercation between the Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer and the White Stripes' Jack White earned the Von Bondies some literally spectacular publicity -- and simultaneously broke and perpetuated the link between the band and its former friend and mentor. However, the group's Sire debut, Pawn Shoppe Heart, not only lives up to the bigger and brighter spotlight thrown upon them as a result of that incident, it also reveals that the Von Bondies are finding their own voice. Working with producer Jerry Harrison, they sound better on record than they ever have. Previously, Stollsteimer's throaty baritone often sounded muddy and tended to overshadow the band's playing. On Pawn Shoppe Heart, the crisp but not too-slick sound gives Stollsteimer's voice, and the rest of the group's instruments, room to breathe and resonate; the result is an album that helps set the Von Bondies apart from their contemporaries and rocks just as hard as their early work. That the Detroit garage rock mainstays sound more fully formed on an album recorded in San Francisco with one of alt-rock's biggest producers is somewhat ironic, but the results speak for themselves. The excellent, exhilarating single "C'Mon C'Mon" alone justifies the Von Bondies' jump to a major label and the attendant major recording budget: its quick-shifting dynamics, call-and-response vocals, and poppy sheen make it not only the best and most distinctive song the Von Bondies have yet recorded, but one of the best singles of 2004. In fact, "C'Mon C'Mon" is so good that it nearly dwarves the rest of Pawn Shoppe Heart, but the album does have several other nearly-as-good moments. "Not That Social," an icy-hot piece of punk-pop sung by bassist Carrie Smith, capitalizes on the Von Bondies' boy-girl vocal interplay, a trick that also adds some playful complexity to the otherwise primal "The Fever." "No Regrets" borrows T. Rex's stomping glam and gets the album off to an appropriately attention-getting start; "Poison Ivy" is a rush of lust that rescues Pawn Shoppe Heart from a slight slump in its second half. The Von Bondies find Detroit a hard place to escape even in song, and tracks like the in-jokey "Been Swank" which riffs on the name of the Soledad Brothers' drummer, Ben Swank and "Broken Man," which describes Stollsteimer and crew as "a broken band from a broken land," tend to pull the group back into the scenesterism that most of the album works so hard to escape. And when the band returns to the swampy, bluesy side of its music, Pawn Shoppe Heart becomes a hit-or-miss affair; tracks like "Right of Way" and "Crawl Through the Darkness" are big on power but relatively small on memorable melodies. On the other hand, the slow-burning "Mairead" doesn't quite justify its five-minute length but does make full use of Stollsteimer's powerful voice, and "Pawn Shoppe Heart" itself -- as well as the thundering cover of "Try a Little Tenderness" hidden at the end of the album -- shows that the band is still in touch with its roots. Ultimately, Pawn Shoppe Heart is a transitional album, offering an imperfect but real and exciting look at where the Von Bondies have been and where they are going. Most importantly for the band, the album shows that the Von Bondies are now able to succeed or fail on their own terms, outside of the context and constraints of Detroit's garage rock scene.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/9/2004
  • Label: Sire / London/Rhino
  • UPC: 093624854920
  • Catalog Number: 48549
  • Sales rank: 128,496

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 No Regrets (2:34)
  2. 2 Broken Man (2:10)
  3. 3 C'mon C'mon (2:15)
  4. 4 Tell What You See (1:56)
  5. 5 Been Swank (2:44)
  6. 6 Maireed (5:11)
  7. 7 Not That Social (3:01)
  8. 8 Crawl Through the Darkness (2:45)
  9. 9 The Fever (2:38)
  10. 10 Right of Way (3:46)
  11. 11 Poison Ivy (2:14)
  12. 12 Pawn Shoppe Heart (9:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Von Bondies Primary Artist
Don Blum Drums, Vocals, Group Member
Jason Stollsteimer Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Marcie Bolen Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits
Jerry Harrison Producer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Eric "ET" Thorngren Engineer
Matt Cohen Engineer
Jason Stollsteimer Composer, Producer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT GARAGE ROCK!!

    This is such a good c.d. WAY better than i expected. The only OK song is not that social. but it's still pretty good. C'mon C'mon is the best song EVER!!BUY THIS NOW!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews