A.A. Bondy

Back in the '90s, Alabama-bred Auguste Arthur Bondy went by the name Scott Bondy, and he fronted a hard-charging alt-rock trio called Verbena. They sounded so much like Nirvana that Dave Grohl — who produced the band's 1999 major label debut, Into the Pink — probably had such intense flashbacks to the Nevermind sessions that he was knocked out of his leather chair. When Verbena called it quits in 2003, Bondy took the opportunity to reinvent himself entirely. Under the new moniker A.A. Bondy, the singer-guitarist became an acoustic blues-folk troubadour. Yet even without all the amps he remained heavy, and quite dark, on his 2007 solo debut, American Hearts, his stark strums, rough tenor, and harmonica solos carrying portentous biblical imagery and end-times ruminations. Bondy's lightened up a little bit, but not too much, on his new When the Devil's Loose. His deep-woods melodies have grown more lush and the words more hopeful, but most of his tunes still retain a spectral and sinister edge to keep you shivering the whole night through.

 
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