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Turn the Lights Out

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iTunes Review

The screeches, scratches and backhanded slaps of dueling yet oh-so-complementary guitars drill right to the very core of the Ponys' third album much like their teeth-gnashing debut, Laced With Romance. Only the atmosphere's much hazier and less haphazard this time around, due in part to the controlled chords of recent guitarist recruit Brian Case. A perfect foil for frontman Jered Gummere, Case helps the group remove the subtle, retro rock keyboards of their back catalogue in favor of riffs so expressive they might as well get a guest vocalist credit for the entire album. Not that Gummere's stopped yelping like a modern day Richard Hell or anything. Sawed-off pool cue jams like "Double Vision" and "Everyday Weapon" are among the Ponys' fiercest songs ever, but we can't help but keep going back to the mournful guitar melody that drips like a syringe across "Kingdom of Hearts; or the nearly seven-minute "Pickpocket Song," an eye of the storm climax that ranks among the best indie rock album closers of the past few years. Don't play this album if your roommate's trying to sleep, but do drop it right in the next time you need a sonic shot in the arm.

Customer Reviews

Teachers outshine the students.

I haven't heard an album this in love with an effect pedal since R.E.M.'s "Monster." Instead of displaying a tremelo addiction, the Ponys stomp the flangers on nearly every song. Because of this, the songs flop back and forth from shoegazing gothic garage to Sonic Youth knock-offs. "Poser Psychotic" especially sounds like something off Sonic Youth's "Dirty" (even the song title smacks of Thurston Moore), while "Shine" could have fit on an early Ride of Verve CD. Everything here reminds you of the best guitar rock of the last 20 years. The Ponys have great taste and an inability to quite match it with their music.

favorite rock and roll album of 2007 so far

This record has some really great garagey arrangements, and the production sensibilities are right on the money. The whole record sounds like it was recorded on 16 track tape with Marshal stacks cranked up so loud that they old beer soaked SM58's could barely take it. I'm thinking that the whole record was mastered through a fuzz box. It sort of reminds me about some of the things I love about MBV, while at the same time harkening back to Richard Hell, Television, maybe even MC5. Not to say that the Pony's don't have their own original approach to the medium.

New Label, Same Great Band

The Ponys return with their first post In The Red release. Turn the Lights Out is another great album from The Ponys. My favorite album continues to be Laced With Romance, but if you've enjoyed either of their other albums this a definate pick up.


Formed: 2001 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Chicago post-punk revivalists the Ponys formed in early 2001, inaugurated by singer/guitarist Jered Gummere in the months prior to dissolution of his previous project, local punk unit the Guilty Pleasures. He began writing and singing with girlfriend and bassist Melissa Elias, and after adding former Mushuganas drummer Nathan Jerde, the Ponys began playing the Windy City club circuit. The late 2002 addition of one-time Happy Supply singer/multi-instrumentalist Ian Adams radically reconfigured the...
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Turn the Lights Out, The Ponys
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