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THE VON BONDIES: Love, Hate, and Then There’s You (Album Review)

Aside from “C’mon, C’mon,” the 2004 song that became the theme for TV’s “Rescue Me,” the Von Bondies are perhaps best known for a 2003 punch-up between their singer, Jason Stollsteimer, and fellow Detroit rocker Jack White.

White’s fists, it turns out, were harbingers of things to come. After the door came down on the early-’00s garage-rock revival, the Bondies found themselves at odds with their major label, which was reportedly pushing the group to make an emo-pop album.

Following a half-decade in limbo, the group is back, on a smaller imprint, making its own rules. It’s funny, then, that the new album should sound so much like what the suits were probably asking for.

Featuring production by Butch Walker, a studio ace who’s no stranger to the pop charts, the Bondies’ third full-length achieves a sound that’s part Cult, part All-American Rejects.

The songs are darker and harder than those that typically find their way to radio, but the band is a long way from the underground it aligns itself with on the disc’s opening anthem, “This Is Our Perfect Crime.” Luckily, the Bondies harbor no real delusions of gritty authenticity, and the disc is one of the rare collections that actually benefits from the added varnish.

As a spirited reintroduction, the album is by no means too little, but given the time the band has been away, it may be too late.