August 30, 2007

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New Young Pony Club, Fantastic Playroom
Modular Records, Aug. 28
Modular Records is making great progress in cornering the nu-rave market by envisioning how the guidebook should read and sticking to it. With luck, funny looking limeys New Young Pony Club are the die from which a lot more of this stuff will be cast, since they incorporate plenty of mopey alt-rock apathy that would on face seem at odds with their bottomless reservoir of stark raving dance-rock hooks. In almost every sense they’re an android B-52s on gloom, doling out party-girl singalongs over New Order guitars welded in place by matching synth lines. Distinguished by singer Tahiti Bulmer’s withdrawn mockup of Transvision Vamp imitating Debbie Harry, most of this record is instantly likeable, putting between-craze Billboard pinups like Franz Ferdinand to shame. “Get Lucky” has all the trappings of a Talking Heads payday before pleasantly surprising the ears with a poignant synth storm; “Ice Cream” is a pie in the face of the Cardigans. AEric W. Saeger.