If you can hear past the initial blurry-eyed guitar-bass-drum bombast, you’ll realize that The Von Bondies aren’t lacking in communication as much as they’d like you to believe.
The messages Jason Stollsteiner announces, while spit-wailed and warbled, are actually quite coherent logically. And whether they’re muffled under distortion or belted out between drum-guitar blasts, the vocalist’s talent for tumbling around and stretching out a good lyric is one of the best attributes of Lack of Communication.
Each of the songs is, in a sense, a story; all the better that they’re told in a dirty hot rod-punk-blues scream.
And the further you wade inside the Von Bondies’ dingy underworld, the more you’ll pick up on certain elements peeking out of the haze: a jangly repetitive guitar riff here, a creepy echo effect there. And you’ll realize that maybe the largest communication foul here is the secret the Von Bondies seem to be keeping from themselves — that they are, in all actuality, a really good rock band. Who knew?
Melissa Giannini is the Metro Times staff music writer. E-mail her at [email protected].