PJ Bond is part of an increasing number of talented, multi-instrumentalist, session musicians who have decided to become bona-fide solo artists. On the basis of his previous output, PJ Bond’s decision to make such a move was wholly justified. Spending the last year sofa-surfing, this EP was recorded on an off day (22 April) in Vienna. It features four new songs, and two re-worked songs from his debut album.
The opening track is a bare-bones version of perhaps his most well-known song, ‘Grow Your Smile Wide’. It’s a very solid start to the EP, as the song itself is very upbeat, and his style is reminiscent of Wilco and Bright Eyes. Occasionally Bond does sound like David Gray, but again this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The other re-worked album track, ‘You Know The Drill’, is a similar affair, if a little more downbeat.
On ‘Hometown Hero’ and ‘Untitled (Robot Golf)’ Bond evokes the spirit of folk, with story-telling lyrics and (on ‘Hometown Hero’ in particular) more earthy vocals. It’s a return to the more upbeat sound for closer ‘Stop Being Bad’, despite the lovesick lyrics. Bond really strains his vocals during this track which serve to emphasise the emotion behind the track on a whole other level. ‘Stop Being Bad’ is a really good closer to the EP, and certainly re-awakens the listener.
’22 April: Vienna, Austria’ isn’t a bad release, but there is little variation between tracks. This ultimately leads to the majority of the EP serving as background music. Obviously, as the EP was recorded in a day and with just PJ Bond, not much should be expected, but it does serve as a really poor introduction to the artist. If you already know how brilliant Bond sounds with a full band, this EP is worth picking up, but if you have never heard of him before I implore you to pick up his debut album first.
’22 April: Vienna, Austria’ by PJ Bond is available now on Black Numbers (US)/Disconnet Disconnect (UK).
PJ Bond on Facebook and MySpace.