Day 196: The Von Bondies – Lack of Communication

12 Sep

Nite Train

Jack White Week rolls on, and we will be examining The Von Bondies’ Lack of Communication today.  As far as I can tell, White didn’t actually play on this record, but I don’t have many other options—I really have listened to almost everything that he has played on.  Plus, with Jack on production, this record sounds pretty close to a lost work by The White Stripes.

As any good fan knows, Jack White has a lot of history with The Von Bondies, specifically with front man Jason Stollsteimer.  While the exact story isn’t crystal clear, here’s what I’ve pieced together.  Both rock bands in Detroit that formed within a couple of years of each other, The White Stripes and The Von Bondies were bound to cross paths a few times.  The White Stripes got a little bigger a little faster, but the groups became friendly.  The Bondies opened a few shows for The Stripes, and Jack even produced some of their music.  Then, at a release party in 2003, Jack and Jason got in a little fight.  Things got messy, Jason pressed charges, and Mr. White had to attend a series of anger management classes.  It’s safe to assume that the guys aren’t friends any longer.

The Jack White-produced Lack of Communication shows us what could have been.  It actually sounds a lot like an early White Stripes record, almost like a hybrid of their self-titled debut and De StijlLack of Communication is gritty, mysterious, but somehow maintains a great deal of catchiness.  I could have sworn that Jack was providing vocals after first listening to a few tracks, but it’s not him.  Without him on production, though, who knows what this would have ended up sounding like.

Perhaps this is just a fan lamenting the loss of his once-favorite band.  While this record may sound like The White Stripes, it’s not.  The drumming is too…rhythmic, and there’s a bass player. While this is okay as a substitute, nothing replaces the real thing.  I’m going to listen to White Blood Cells now.


One Response to “Day 196: The Von Bondies – Lack of Communication”

  1. Yuanny Dollar September 14, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Mr. Ear: Sometimes, I agree with your reviews and sometimes I think you blow it. You nailed this one. It sounds like a computer simulation of a White Stripes song. All the elements are almost there — off by about three degrees — but they don’t come together like Jack and Meg. A good song. Fun to listen to. But the magic is missing. There isn’t enough music with the magic.

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