The Parv Discovers Indie Star, A.A. Bondy

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TheParvenu

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If I say this guy is rock, I’m going to get some hate mail (though I don’t even get hate comments) from the “true” rock fans, but I’m writing what I’m told. A.A. Bondy does not have extremely long hair and scream into the microphone, so I’m sorry to disappoint. His “rock” consists of him, looking like the unfortunate love child between Marc Anthony and Enrique Iglesias, playing an acoustic guitar and gently singing into the microphone.

Now, I’ll just be honest. He’s not rock, so iTunes needs to go edit that. When you search A.A. Bondy, the bands Deer Tick and Horse Feathers are your next suggestions, and they’re definitely not rock. Second thing, A.A. stands for Augeste Arthur, who was previously the lead singer of a southern-grunge band, Verbena. But the group broke up and A.A. Bondy is now writing Indie-Folk songs in his barn in upstate New York.

His first album, American Hearts, was released in 2007 and is the folk-iest of his three albums. He recorded American Hearts in a barn in New York and it sounds exactly like you’d think… an NYC version of country/folk. The album features some harmonica, heavy acoustic guitar, and Bondy’s gritty voice. The songs on the album are ones that you’d sing in the car, but you’d have to be alone and it’d be on a day with dark clouds in the sky, perhaps some rain. Of the Sea is the perfect example; it has the harmonica, it has a soulful harmony in the background, and Bondy singing about drowning himself. Although the topic of the song is slightly disturbing, the song is a beautiful composition. Another song to go along with this theme is the bluntly titled, Killed Myself When I Was Young. Don’t worry, by the end of the song, Bondy cranks up the amps and leaves with a louder, more upbeat exit. Another strange song is, Vice Rag, which opens with Bondy singing, “Sweet, sweet cocaine, Won’t you be all mine.” Alright, sure, if you want to take it extremely seriously it’s a terrible song already, but I can’t help but laugh a little bit. Perhaps I don’t have an American heart…or a heart at all. Yes, as of now, the album seems a little depressing, but the sound of American Hearts is melodic.

When the Devil’s Loose is Bondy’s second album and was released in 2009 and has no harmonica. It’s still the same sound, with a little less death involved. One of the more popular songs on the album is I Can See The Pines Are Dancing. There’s most likely a deeper meaning to the song, but all I can think about is pine cones waltzing around in a field with Bondy himself. Either way, it’s really good. The album as a whole is a very cohesive piece of work with all the songs seemlessly melting together.

Bondy’s last album is Believers, my least favorite as a whole, is a little lacking. Yes, it has the slow indie features, but some of the songs are empty. Believers is more drums and less acoustic. Don’t get me wrong, the album still has it’s shining moments, but it has less than his previous two albums. Hiway/Fevers, Drmz, Heart is Willing, and Rte. 28/Believers are the best songs, but I still don’t understand the titles. Missing letters and backslashes, was it indecisiveness? I don’t get it. Maybe that’s what frustrates me about the album.

The only downfall A.A. Bondy has is that a lot of his songs sound similar. They all have the slowly swaying tunes, with very few exceptions, but that’s why people like him. He gives them what they want. Maybe it’s not a downfall at all, maybe it’s him sticking to what he knows, maybe he’s the genius that is different than other artists because he’s stayed the same since 2007.