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Raw and Rare

The Von Bondies

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Album Review

Raw and Rare, a collection of live BBC recordings from 2001 and 2002 — plus a couple recorded at Detroit's own Lager House for good measure — finds the Von Bondies in their element. The group's ferocious attack is captured just as well, if not better, than on their debut album, Lack of Communication; there's an added snap and electricity to these performances that remind one what all the fuss surrounding Detroit's garage rock scene was about in the first place. Nearly all of Lack of Communication and the band's early singles are reprised here, including particularly stellar versions of "Lack of Communication" itself, a swaggering, menacing "Sound of Terror," an explosive version of "Please Please Man," and a slow-burning rendition of "My Baby's Cryin'," sung by Marcie Bolen. There are two versions of both "Cryin'" and "It Came from Japan," which might be a little excessive, but at least they're all equally good performances and they don't take away from the album's flow. However, there's still room for more than competent covers of the Compulsive Gamblers' "R & R Nurse" and the Sorrows' "Take a Heart" as well as frenetic takes on their own "Vacant as a Ghost" and "Unknown," one of the appropriately scuzzy, fuzzy tracks recorded at the Lager House. Raw and Rare is an especially interesting document, considering that it came out not long before their second proper album, Pawn Shoppe Heart, produced by Jerry Harrison; while it's doubtful that their future output will be anything approaching slick, this album is a welcome reminder of the Von Bondies' rawest roots.


Formed: 2000 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Von Bondies assembled around 2000 in Detroit, MI. Led by guitarist/vocalist Jason Stollsteimer, the group also included guitarist Marcie Bolen, bassist Carrie Smith, and drummer Don Blum. The quartet's fusion of raw blues heartache with ferocious, gritty punk was an overnight sensation in the Motor City, where such influences seemed to float on the surface of the water. They issued a few initial singles ("It Came from Japan," "Nite Train") and word was spreading fast about their fiery live show....
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Raw and Rare, The Von Bondies
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