For the uninitiated, Poney’s unique brand of rock fury brings together uncommon company in ways that always manage to reconcile themselves. Intricate arrangements are balanced with tight songwriting, hooks weasel their way into both the gnarliest and most spacious of places, and the intersection of sludge, post-hardcore, and pop becomes as mind-expanding as it is immediately gratifying. Where previous efforts saw the group penning Coleridge-inspired conceptual epics and psyched-out stoner metal, their upcoming record Pagan Nouveau brightens things up a bit. So slap on those shades and dig in on the title track after the jump!
Poney waste little time immersing listeners in a swirly, dreamy soundscape with “Pagan Nouveau.” Layered vocals shine through the haze, rousing spirits before they yank the ripcord and wrench you into an evolving tumult of flavorful hand drum pops, fluidly rolling drum fills, and tumbling chugs that gather weight and unhinge with time. I’m enamored with how the crystalline leads and vibrant chords offset this rhythmic torrent, but I’m even more captivated by how this props open the door for a return to the aforementioned dreamy passage and subtly sets the trap for an ensuing ton ‘o fuckin’ bricks stomp (replete with some delectably neck-breaking rests). It’s savvy, catchy, and dense, and yet there’s more tasty morsels tucked away (I’ll leave you to find those surprises yourself).
I can’t think of anything better suited for a spring or summertime spin. It’s lighter without really sacrificing any of the heaviness. It’s bigger without collapsing under it’s own weight. Still, the edge is never far away. The percussive brake checks are a delightful kick in the pants, and the uptempo moments move like a locomotive. Poney’s hardcore facet adds oomph to the huge soaring moments, but still gives some good old fashioned bite to their technicolor rip ‘n’ roll. If you’re open to a little warmth and weirdness with your sludge, it’s likely Pagan Nouveau will make a nice addition to your summertime rotation.
Pagan Nouveau will see a cassette release via Kitschy Spirit May 15 (with vinyl planned for a later date). Snag one at any of their upcoming dates: