Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Ponys

  • Laced With Romance [In the Red, 2004] A-
  • Celebration Castle [In the Red, 2005] A-
  • Turn the Lights Out [Matador, 2007] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Laced With Romance [In the Red, 2004]
The romance of postpunk, they mean. Not that they can play like Ivan Julian or sing like Peter Perrett (or even Richard Hell). But they can dream, decorating off-key celebrations of their confusion and ineptness with hooks from wherever. "Little Friends" is about their cats, who won't even pee in the box and get much love anyway. Which doesn't make the Ponys pussys--just messed-up young sweetie-pies. A-

Celebration Castle [In the Red, 2005]
Like so many unpretentious young bands-with-a-knack, the Ponys are assumed by their contemporaries to bring nothing new to the party even though their sound is theirs alone--an object lesson in the primacy of timbre. Their second album isn't quite as good as their first album because its hooks are slightly less inescapable, which you can blame on Steve Albini if you want. But the difference is slight, and other differences are positive: more momentum, the girls get to sing one, and the Richard Hell guy sounds as weedy as the Peter Perrett guy, hence more like himself. A-

Turn the Lights Out [Matador, 2007]
Echo for echo's sake ("Everyday Weapon," "Maybe I'll Try"). **

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