Pony Face : Hypnotised
Pony Face’s second album, masterfully produced by Casey Rice, starts with more than a whiff of Dinosaur Jnr. But then weird bursts of Yamaha break up the ‘90s alt-rock sound and everything goes a little off-kilter, triggering memories of the band’s debut, Stars Are Bright, but twisting it into something weirder and wilder.
The first half of the album is killer, but it’s hard to go past the entrancing third track, Alabama, which sits a single chugging chord and gradually revs up like a rusty engine discovering krautrock. Despite its structural confinement, the song achieves a wonderful vastness, with the lyric “I’m so sorry, Alabama” speaking to a whole state as much as it speaks to a single girl.
The dense layers of the music are peeled back for the album’s slower, quieter Side B, triggered by the drowsy instrumental, Lady Land. The hand-on-heart Hypnotised rolls into the droney, spaced-out Cicadas as if they were a single epic track, despite the contrast between Simon Bailey’s warm vocal and a bizarre spoken word cameo from Mark Ferrie. Kris Ermond’s drums make a triumphant return for the final track, Stripper. It’s still gentle compared to the album’s fiery beginnings but pulls us further into the seedy, swampy world the album conjures up.
Hypnotised cements Pony Face as one of those bands you crave to hear in a live setting after a single listen to their recorded material.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Alabama
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