Von Bondies : C'mon C'mon

Pass the spacehopper...

What is it with these Detroit bands and the blues? All that swamp, sludge and heartbreak is enough to make two old mates beat each other viciously about the head in a public place! And anyway, when they finally give it a rest and try other things, they cease to be merely quite good bands and become world-beatingly fantastic ones. First the White Stripes go ‘house’ and come out with 'Seven Nation Army', the greatest single of any year unblessed by 'Crazy In Love'; and now, The Von Bondies realise that all they had to do to burn their name large on the soul of 2004 was to go glam.

Because 'C'Mon C'Mon' is as brilliant and blinding as the glare from Alvin Stardust’s sequinned pixie boots. Dizzy and carefree from the moment it trips its glittery platforms over one of the most fast-acting riffs in history, it then blooms into a cat-call of a chorus, buoyed by Marcie and Carrie coming over like a pair of scuzz-rock Vandellas. In an age where the future has become something to be feared, Jason Stollsteimer lets out a fond, nostalgic rewind to good old times, yet is smart enough to know that better ones are happening right now. Maybe Jack’s beef was that; while he’s stuck in a grim netherworld of bluegrass costume dramas and sexual intrigue, Jason is having an infinitely better time of it with his ex-girlfriend. Well, wouldn’t you be jealous?

For the remainder of this singles column you’ll find that, for the most part, we will award marks for scope and invention, and deduct them for shamelessly rehashing the past (retro is so turn-of-the-century, darling). Yet 'C'Mon C'Mon' is one of those rare and brilliant songs that, for its few fleeting minutes, makes NME call off the retro witch-hunt and party like its 1974. Pass the spacehopper.

Dan Martin

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