The Ponys, Chicago's very own mother of scuzzed up guitar band have just released their latest offering on Matador Records.
Twenty years ago when Sonic Youth were busy dissolving music as we know it, only the bravest of critics overestimated the effect they would have on music in the future. This record is one of those beneficiaries, especially of Daydream Nation era Sonic Youth. It does however add its own sprinkling of magic to the equation and occasionally ups the ante too.
There's no doubt this is an accomplished album. From the spacey vocals on opening track 'Double Vision' through the over-clocked guitar beat of '1209 Seminary' The Ponys are lining up to be a really great American guitar band.
Highlight of the album has to be the duo of 'Poser Psychotic' and 'Exile on my Street', a perfect contrast of tuneful melody with white noise guitar, which makes for a truly exhilarating six minutes of high maintenance, high adrenaline guitar music.
So the Ponys aren't breathtakingly original, they definitely wear their influences on their sleeves, but one thing you can't take away from them is the sheer intensity and excitement of this record. When too many bands favour originality and opaque styling over the sheer rock 'n' roll spirit the Ponys make for a refreshing and highly charged alternative.