March 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Pawn Shoppe Heart

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Sire
We gave it a B-

The Von Bondies might be Detroit’s latest great white garage-band hope, but their major-label debut, Pawn Shoppe Heart, shows they may be remembered as much for singer-guitarist Jason Stollsteimer’s incident with Jack White as for their music. The splashy, throbbing clatter of their best moments — ”Poison Ivy,” ”C’mon C’mon,” plus the way they spell out the title of ”The Fever” in song — has a rib-rattling force. Yet too often the group sounds like a sped-up version of the Cult (or, at times, the Doors), complete with Stollsteimer’s stentorian, rock-god-am-I delivery. Like Stollsteimer and White, garage stomp and bombast should be kept at arm’s length from each other.

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