Concert Preview: A.A. Bondy

A.A. Bondy's newest album, Believers.


By Ryan Coghill

A.A. Bondy
September 28

As the electro scene continues to dominate concert and club choices, it is easy to forget there are still musicians standing on a stage, all alone, with nothing but a guitar and vocal chords. A change of pace is often nice, especially when one wants to get intimate and slow it down. A. A. Bondy (Scott Bondy) will be paying the close corridors of The Casbah a visit on Wednesday, Sept. 28. If the fresh workload of this semester has turned into a head full of stress, then take a mid-week break and listen to a man and his guitar.

Bondy released his debut album, American Hearts, in 2007. In its entirety, the album is lyrically dark, more than once questioning God. This sometimes overkill-melodrama is balanced out by the use of mainly major chords and the always-reassuring sound of a harmonica. However, the most comforting aspect of Bondy is his ability to finger pick his guitar mercifully while still extracting the oomph that is needed to rattle the listeners core.  “Vice Rag” and “Killed Myself When I was Young” are standouts on the album.  The latter was featured on the Emmy-award winning television series, “Friday Night Lights.”

Bondy’s 2009 follow up album When The Devil’s Loose is a much more refined continuation of “American Hearts.” The same gloomy patterns emerge in the subject matter. The instrumental is much tighter in dedication and his vocals have an even more soothing effect than previously. As it may be contrary to the instrumental being tighter, there is much more reverb used on the album.

This reverb comes out much more experimentally in his latest album Believers, which was just released this month. The acoustic guitar has been thrown out of the studio completely and replaced with long-lasting-electric minor notes, and the incorporation of a full band, which includes a heavy emphasis on keyboard usage.  This drives many of the songs to a trance-like state, with “Rte. 28/ Believers” sounding like something straight off Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The transition into the following song “Scenes From A Circus,” resembles the transitions one would hear on “Dark Side” as well. The subtlety on “Surfer King” in itself is so calming that the idea of being beach-side becomes evermore appealing with each note.

This album is by far Bondy’s most intricate work to date. Since Believers was just released Sept. 13, San Diego will serve as the starting point for the live material. This is all the more reason to attend this, possibly, historic event. Tickets can be purchased here, and are only $12. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. The age limit is 21 and over. If you happen to fall into this category of having stress and a few extra dollars, and are of age, A. A. Bondy will serve your senses well.