The Von Bondies: Love, Hate and Then There’s You (Majordomo Records)

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There’s something special about the Von Bondies that really sets them apart from their punk/rock brethren: There’s still the bombastic drum line, the interesting guitar chord changes, the hypnotic vocals and the overall “jump up and down” melodies, but the duo of singer/guitarist Jason Stollsteimer and drummer Don Blum really kick it up a notch. Taking off from where their 2004 hit single “C’mon, C’mon” left off, the Von Bondies bring a Pixie-ish tinge to “21st Birthday,” with its hunkered-down guitar line and anthemic lyrics—this really should have been on the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. Other standouts include opener “This Is Our Perfect Crime,” which immediately draws the listener into their wacky world; and “Earthquake,” which showcases a sound that one would expect from a four-piece band, but is actually coming from a duo—granted, there are backup singers, but Stollsteimer really shines. This is an album tailor-made for a raucous club tour (which will see the addition of bassist Leann Banks and guitarist Christy Hunt).

Producers: Butch Walker, Rick Parker. Recordists: Parker, Sean O’Keefe, Peter Katis. Engineers: Scott Riebling, Chris Harden, Jim Kissling. Mixing: Kissling, Paul Kolderie. Mastering: Hans DeKline at Sound Bites Dog.

—Sarah Benzuly