Release Date: May 3, 2005
Record label: In The Red
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The Ponys served up a wildly distinctive sound on their debut album, 2004's Laced With Romance, and it's the good fortune of listeners everywhere that they've actually gotten better (and added some new layers to their approach) on their sophomore long-player, Celebration Castle. While the Ponys' broad palate of influences hasn't changed all that much -- a muscular and sweaty mélange of noisy pop sounds, ranging from the Velvet Underground and Richard Hell to the Cure and My Bloody Valentine -- their noisy, guitar-fueled pop has developed an even hookier melodic presence without losing the edge of Jered Gummere's and Ian Adams' guitars, which are fused with a precision that makes the hedonistic abandon of their music all the more stunning. The Ponys are one of those rare bands who seem to have the mind/body thing figured out -- their music is decidedly smart, but they also know how to have a wild good time, and Celebration Castle is packed with clever, brilliantly constructed songs that give the band room to whip themselves into a glorious frenzy that communicates on plastic with admirable clarity.
It seems more appropriate to talk more about what the Ponys aren’t than what they are: they aren’t too professional, yet they aren’t that pretentious. They aren’t very original, but they’re not exactly boring or pat in what they do, either. They burst onto the scene around 2001, with very little control over their instruments but a stunning debut album, Laced with Romance, surfaced in 2004, falling favorably on a rock press and fanbase hungry for something exciting, which it delivered in spades.