Laced with Romance

Hailing from Chicago, The Ponys achieve the miraculous in slyly lifting the nuts and bolts of the band’s unparalleled machinery from more than four decades of influences, yet still managing to sound unique. The easy comparison channels garage rock roots through the collapsed veins of Richard Hell and Television’s NYC Punk. Laced with Romance is a confident debut sure to impress those thinking American underground rock peaked in the late eighties with The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, as well as turn the heads of today’s voracious record rack obsessives fixating on The White Stripes. Try to ignore an album opening with vocalist/guitarist Jared Gummere’s sneering assertion; “Sometimes I feel like killing myself. … Let’s get together and kill ourselves.” It’s a perilous date drenched in cavernous reverb and rushing, cascading distortion bouncing between blown stereo speakers. Fuzzed-out guitar lines backed by organs complete and color the many smart arrangements, offering proof that The Ponys are likely here for good, with relentless enthusiasm securing a hard-won respite from rock-and-roll oblivion.