Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Turn the Lights Out

On their new label, indie rockers kick up the echo, if not the jams

The Ponys' excellent garage-y-punky releases of 2004 and 2005 were proof of a form, not evidence of a mission. Delights in themselves -- especially the loose-lipped debut, Laced With Romance -- they promised nothing, not even that the next album would be any good. Perhaps due to the replacement of touring-averse keyboardist-guitarist Ian Adams by Chicago stalwart Brian Case, perhaps due to ye olde maturity, their move from lesser indie In the Red to greater indie Matador takes an echoed-up tack that's more Sonic Youth than Voidoids. But as they crash and boom and reverberate, never think they resemble either of these bands who promise plenty. Instead, their forebears are more along the lines of faux-arena formalists like Dinosaur Jr. and Spiritualized. This is the Ponys' next album, and let no one say it isn't any good -- or much of anything else. As for the lyrics, there are some.

Rolling Stone, Apr. 19, 2007