Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The Ponys - Laced With Romance (In the Red, 2004)

The Ponys are an indie/garage rock unit that I first heard through WPRB, the Princeton University radio station. They have a straight - ahead old school punk sound very reminiscent of the old CBGB New York City punk bands of the mid to late 1970's but actually they're a Chicago band who put out their debut record in 2004.

Richard Hell and the Voidiods and Television are the bands of the New York City salad era that come to mind with regard to the Pony's sound. Lead singer Jared Gummere is a dead ringer vocally for Richard Hell at one point, on the tune "Chemical Imbalance" that the band sounds like it's playing a cut that was left off of Blank Generation. The band's instrumental prowess lacks some of the punch of their forebears - they don't have a soloist of the caliber of Tom Verlaine for instance, but they do have a crunching garage groove occasionally punctuated by a little organ, hearkening back to the 60's garage rock "Nuggets" era bands.

"Let's Get Together and Kill Ourselves" is a nihilistic punk anthem that wouldn't seem out of place on CBGB's stage. The band isn't completely derivative however, and as they take the time to develop their instrumental and songwriting skills there's every reason to believe that they will become a more original sounding unit.

Rating 6.5

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