P.J. Bond You Didn't Know I Was Alphabetical

P.J. BondYou Didn't Know I Was Alphabetical
With a resume that includes stints in bands with names like Outsmarting Simon, Communipaw and the Color Fred, it's hardly surprising that this New Jersey native's songs are thoroughly sharp and clever. However, Bond's sound is firmly rooted in the ragged mid-'90s alt-country of Whiskeytown and early My Morning Jacket. Those limited musical parameters are hardly a detriment though, since the emphasis is squarely on Bond's pen. His eloquence and clarity approach Paul Westerberg/Elliott Smith standards, in terms of making the mundane sound essential, and vice versa. His explorations of guilt and jealousy in songs such as "Mama, I'm A Smoker" and "Fucking! Viv" hit hard, while "Stop Being Bad" and "Skin And Bones" are pure expressions of love for partners who seem beyond help. That's not to say that Bond's messages are devoid of hope. In fact, the opposite is true. The nomadic lifestyle he's recently adopted has only heightened his awareness of human behaviour. While this latest chronicle is a minor masterpiece in that sense, it's tempting to think what Bond could do with a substantial budget. (Black Numbers)