A.A. Bondy, 'When the Devil's Loose' (Fat Possum)

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When the Devil's Loose
Critical Mass
Label: Fat Possum

by David Peisner

Scott Bondy fronted the briefly buzzed-about Nirvana-ish power trio Verbena (Dave Grohl produced their 1999 major-label debut), but the buzz faded, and in 2007 Bondy reinvented himself as a dour troubadour. His second solo album is a low-key folk gem: Over mostly spare backdrops adorned with acoustic guitar picking and mournful piano plinking, Bondy ruminates on loves lost, stolen, and forgotten. The pace and tenor occasionally resemble the Bataan Death March, but Bondy's gorgeous melodies, vivid imagery, and haunting voice keep you pressing on.

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