As you get older, so do you (presumably) become worldlier, and more adult, free to think as an individual. Not only that, but you also become much more confident about said individualism. You are not to concerned about outsider opinions, but what is most important for yourself, what’s best for you. I make this analogy because it seems to best sum up the direction The Ponys have traversed on their new album, Turn The Lights Out. When listening to it, the band seems older, more mature, more personal.
I can’t help but be impressed by Turn The Lights Out. I’ve always thought that The Ponys were a great band, but Turn The Lights Out is nothing like their prior output. It sounds more thought out, more calculating in its execution of melody and lyrics. Even lead singer Jered Gummere’s voice sounds older, as his lyrics have, in turn, become more insightful. The band can still rock as hard as ever, as evident on the crunchy “Everyday Weapon” and the strutting, swaggering “Double Vision.” But there’s a greater level of melodic intricacy, as on the glimmering, Sonic Youth-like “Small Talk.”
Right before the recording of this album, keyboardist Ian Adams left the band, and a new member, guitarist Brian Case, joined. This change most likely made for some of the difference in sound and arrangement, the dual guitars creating added layers of depth, but whatever the reasons for the slight transformation, it is a welcome progression. It isn’t a forced or awkward shift, but rather a natural evolution into their greatest artistic accomplishment to date, showcasing tighter sounds, as on the hypnotic “Poser Psychotic.”
Some people don’t like to be provoked. Some people would rather conform and walk the easy path. I can honestly, and without hesitation, say that this is not the way of The Ponys. They sound more confident than ever, pushing boundaries and shining on this new effort. The Ponys are a band continuing to do as they damn well please, and it is quite refreshing to hear.
Times New Viking – The Paisley Reich
Dan Melchior – Heavy Dirt
The Rosebuds – Birds Make Good Neighbors
MP3: “Double Vision”