Minimalism is so cool. When I write that out, it sounds pretty facetious but I’m actually being very earnest – I love minimalism. It can be a simplicity that gnaws at the very core of our deepest punk desires and when done right, what it lacks in tricks, high production and flourishes, it brings in a frequently inexplicable sentiment. Seattle duo, Pony Time, is one of those minimalistic bands that just does it right; with the release of their sophomore album, Go Find Your Own, the group proved that doing it right wasn’t just a fluke.
Pony Time is Luke Beetham on guitar/vocals (and occasionally bass when the time seems right) and Stacy Peck on drums, but what sounds in format like a potential recipe for a White Stripes cover band is actually an exciting new sound for limited-member music. Go Find Your Own creatively synthesizes the punk sensibility of the ‘80s with the more intentional lo-fi of today’s standards.
Beetham’s vocals definitely channel Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks but manage to incorporate innovative melodic undertones that could just have easily inspired Shelley’s music as the other way around (huge gap in time notwithstanding). Without the traditional blend of instruments that can help mix up the driving force behind a group’s sound, Go Find Your Own finds other ways to keep the listener riveted throughout.
The opening song, “What If You Caught Me” might lead the listener to believe she’s just going to be in for a string of high-energy, rock’n’roll run-off tunes, but the album evolves with each new track. By the time you get to the final track, “Hippy Shit” (such a giggle-worthy name, right?) you’ve been subtly reminded of bands from the ’80s to now. That’s not to say, however, that Pony Time is a simple rehashing of past music. Rather, it’s an exciting source of new songs that any fan of pure rock can get behind.
There’s also a certain humility, or maybe just self-understanding, in this album that’s totally admirable. Pony Time seems perfectly aware that what’s great about its music is its punky energy and obviously listenable simplicity. So it makes no pretentions in trying to be something it’s not – it doesn’t drag songs on in the hopes of grandiose finales (actually no song is longer than three minutes) or interrupt the dynamic of a song or the album by any inappropriately impressive solos. It just plays the music that it’s so great at playing.
You can download the album or purchase in on vinyl on Pony Time’s bandcamp.