Since leaving Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams’ solo career has followed an interesting trajectory, taking in colossal peaks and disappointing troughs. Sound-alike AA Bondy has also traded a full band sound, in the form of Alabaman grunge merchants Verbana, for a more introspective style. Thankfully, he mirrors Adams in more than just voice and recalls the Carolinian troubadour at the height of his powers: woozy, melodic and slightly rough around the edges. But it would be wrong to dismiss Bondy as a tribute act, for When the Devil’s Loose is a fine album in its own right. From the drunken balladry of Oh The Vampyre (“I could drink the world and never get my fill”), to the tender navel-gazing of Mightiest of Guns, and the album’s crowning moment, the buoyant I Can See The Pines Are Dancing, this is mightily impressive fare. Now, is it sadistic to hope Bondy doesn’t follow Adams onto the wagon?
Written for The Skinny
Video: AA Bondy – I Can See The Pines are Dancing