The Ponys

Celebration Castle

The Ponys’ Celebration Castle is as thrilling an album as you are likely to hear. The Richard Hell and Television influences are still a defining feature, yet The Ponys’ most endearing traits stem from the band members’ invitation to place the listener beside them in a messy garage, clearing cobwebs, dodging stray pools of oil, ears adoringly battered by the reverb-soaked rattle and clang the band perfectly delivers. Recorded by Steve Albini, Celebration Castle rises to a woozy altitude early on, never subsiding with its brilliance and ability to surprise. It is, however, the anthemic album closer that won’t easily be forgotten. “Ferocious” finds its fortitude in Jered Gummere’s tense wail, “…Destroy all of my love with the clench of a fist….” It surrenders to furious, churning guitars as defiant as the song’s heartbroken narrator: “Everyone talkin’ to me about the times we used to have/ Don’t bet on it now ’cause it’s never gonna be the same!/ Now I feel ferocious!” If anger is an energy, as the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Lydon once spoke; The Ponys have enough rocket fuel to make it to the moon.