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Album Review: Pony Village, "Self-titled EP"





Album Review: Pony Village, "Self-titled EP"

 

 

Pony Village’s self-titled debut EP shows just how much potential the quartet possesses. Completely self-released, and pressed onto 12” vinyl, the record captures the quaint, lo-fi, DIY vibe as well as the sparkle of larger things to come. “We give away free CD's with [the record] at shows,” explains vocalist Ryan Barber, “but we recorded [Pony Village] with the intention of putting out a record, and I feel that CD's are really only something that people put into their computer once and then forget about.”

Listening to Pony Village on vinyl brings me back to Northwest indie rock in the late nineties. The succinct drum taps and warbling slide guitar coupled with Barber’s pleasantly off key voice is reminiscent of Keep It Like a Secret-era Built to Spill, while echoed, unhurried soundscapes and Barber’s breathy, high-pitched vocal tone is nostalgic to Death Cab for Cutie’s Something About Airplanes.

Although the foursome has clear influences, its music is not a total pastiche. You can hear the genuineness in Barber’s voice as he sings, “Why did you bring me back again? I was at Pacific Pines, the sand on the beach at night, it looked almost white,” in “Depoe Bay,” a track paying homage to a quaint coastal town well known to us Oregonians, and encompassing the same dreariness that reminds us all of the Oregon coast.

Pony Village - Depoe Bay from Rodrigo Melgarejo on Vimeo.

The six-song EP ends on a strong note with “You Play, You Pay,” a beautifully eerie, sweeping piece played in minor chords saturated in reverb. The track begins with a droning guitar riff and drum beat that eases into Barber’s airy voice asking his listener to “Lay your ear to the ground, do you hear the sound? The one I can’t allow.” The chilling uneasiness of this track is fit for a record player on a gray Portland day.

If Pony Village’s LP, which is currently in the works, sounds anything like this debut, Barber will have no reason to worry about someone listening to it once than forgetting about it, whether it be on record or CD.

-Katrina Nattress

Published: April 29, 2010 |

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