Birmingham, Alabama, native A.A. Bondy's latest album, Believers, retains a quiet spookiness. Bondy fronted the band Verbena for over a decade. Bondy's first solo release American Hearts (2007) remained true to a minimal acoustic folk-blues sound. Bondy's following album--When The Devil's Loose--employed sparse electric, band-oriented tunes that amplified his vivid lyrics.
Bondy's songs have appeared in various TV shows such as Bones, Friday Night Lights and House. Believers was recorded in California during the spring of 2011. The ensemble on this album features Bondy singing and playing guitar, Ben Lester playing drums, piano and pedal steel with Macy Taylor handling bass duties.
Believers opens with the hypnotic "The Heart Is Willing". This tune's driving engine seems to suggest the flesh is weak. These 10 songs emit 40 minutes of moody, subterranean music. "Down In The Fire" sounds as if it were recorded by Daniel Lanois. This tune demonstrates Bondy's ability to convey emotion with his sharp words and stripped down music that speaks volumes regarding his talent.
"Skull & Bones" sounds like a dirge on the last Sunday of the world. "123 Depuy Street" begins with an eerie rising sound that seems to foreshadow a mysterious and dark message, but it fades away as a short instrumental. "Surfer King" exists as one of the strongest tunes on this collection. Bondy's hallucinatory lyrics conjure mystic tides as he sings "The surfer king/Will show me everything/In the great green flash of the evening..."
"Hiway Fevers" tells a story of lost loves and ghosts while the music paints a surreal picture of some lonely road in the middle of the desert on a moonless night. The straightforward "DRMZ" really serves as a vehicle for Bondy's poetry. "The Twist" gives Believers a gritty twist as if this were a soundtrack to some obscure vampire spaghetti- western where Bondy sings "I see these preachers in tired ashes..."
In "Route 28 (Believers)" Bondy sings about "The killer inside", which gives the album touches of a sinister quality. The final track on this formidable collection is "Scenes From A Circus", which contains slow burning guitar progressions as well as another fine Bondy story. This album is like holding a magic lamp in a sea of darkness...
RELATED BONDY CONTENT