For many, their first glimpse of head Von Bondie Jason Stollsteimer was a December 2003 photo in which he looked like the bloodied and bruised victim of several wicked Mike Tyson uppercuts. The perpetrator? Fellow Motor City garage-rock-kitty Jumpin' Jack White, the White Stripes singer and (apparently) amateur boxer who had a bone to pick with the lanky vocalist-guitarist.
Circumstances surrounding the fight are unclear, but suffice it to say that Mr. White won't be reliving his days as the producer of the Von Bondies' 2001 full-length debut, Lack of Commnication. In fact, the foursome -- which also features guitarist Marcie Bolen, bassist Carrie Smith, and drummer Don Blum -- enlisted ex-Talking Head Jerry Harrison to man the boards on their major-label bow, Pawn Shoppe Heart. The result is a raw shudder of hulking blues-swing ("Been Swank"), taut, rattling rhythms ("Not That Social"), and, yes, plenty of vintage-Detroit riff-sludge ("Broken Man," "No Regrets"). Expect the same no-nonsense rock when the Von Bondies invade the Beachland Tavern: Smith and Bolen's backup-vocal hellfire complements everything from blistering walls of sound (like those spun by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) to slow-simmering, moody interludes reminiscent of the Doors.