Poney - Sea Myth
Record Label: Round 13
Release Date: September 21, 2008
Poney is a pretty strange band. The first hint is the name "Poney." The second is Sea Myth, a somewhat eclectic record that at times sounds like a combination of hardcore punk, metal, psychedelia, and even a little grunge. and then switches to be more experimental and progressive sounding. The album opens with a short intro of what sounds like a boat floating in the ocean, before going into the first riff of the album. Immediately the listener gets a good feel of what Poney's sound consists of: fast drumming, metal yells, and some spacey clean vocals. The drummer is an immediate standout and at times seems to be using more different drum tones than the band uses guitar tones. This would be the most pressing problem with the record.
The production is not of the highest quality, but it doesn't have any negative impact on the listener. The exception to this would be the repetitiveness of the guitar tones. Most songs begin with some sort of riff, and most of these riffs sound completely different from each, but the guitar tone is very similar throughout the record, which makes many of the songs blend together. Poney does mix in a good number of genres, but some of their more subtle changes may be lost with the overall very similar-sounding guitar parts. Musically they are all very talented, and though the harsh vocals may not be what I prefer, the clean vocals and lyrics are solid - nothing outstanding, but they get the job done. Poney's real strength is their range in styles, which I feel is underutilized.
Two of the tracks are interludes, seven are a fast-paced combination of punk and metal, and three are more experimental progressive songs with a focus on psychedelic elements. The other one is an acoustic song, which is both incredibly haunting and impressive musically, making it my favorite on the album. The thing that bothered me most about the album is that all of the experimental songs are on the second half, which definitely makes that half stand out. Poney shows glimpses of being a very intricate and diverse band, but they don't realize their potential on this record until the very end. The 15-minute closer "Maelstrom" combines nearly all aspects the band has gone through on the record, connecting what otherwise seemed like a collection of songs. The vocals here may be their strongest, and the entire band combines beautifully to some orchestral add-ins. This is what I wish they'd sound like all the time.
Sea Myth is a pretty strange record. It has a lot of riffs, a lot of yells, a ton of fast-paced drumming (with some bongos, I'm pretty sure), as well as a good deal of experimentation. If you like metal, hardcore punk, or just fast experimental music, this is for you. Better quality recordings and a more focused sound would only improve this album, but Sea Myth is a good start for this Wisconsin band.