Polarizing critics since their 2000 inception, Bond have continued to perfect their fusion of pop, worldbeat, and classical instrumentation. Eos Chater (violin), Haylie Ecker (violin), Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello), and Tania Davis (viola) were well-educated musically, having played their specific instruments since early childhood and accompanied acts like the Divine Comedy, Primal Scream, Embrace, and Mark Knopfler. But the quartet couldn't find a happy medium. They raised the classical world's ire with their short skirts and electronic programming, but Bond wasn't purely pop or dance either, alienating them on most sides. Born appeared Decca in early 2001, and showcased salsa, house, and European folk textures over modified classical melodies. The following year's Shine was a hit on the classical crossover charts, a place inhabited by similarly accessible artists like Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman. A 2003 remix album was Bond's admission that they wouldn't go quietly, content in their slick, shiny approach to classical, pop, and dance music. They toured Europe and Asia throughout that year, and appeared a series of cross-promotional ads for the US department store chain Marshall Field's. The Classified LP followed in 2004, and 2005's Explosive was a greatest hits set that included unreleased tracks and bonus video content. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

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