When I think of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, I’m not instantly struck by its plethora of iconic heavy music acts. Yes, there are a couple of legendary inclusions, but mostly, it’s all quite pop and chart friendly rock acts. I don’t associate it with fiery young fuzzy garage rock bands. Well, I didn’t. Now I can add a name to that little area, and that name, my friends, is Pit Pony.
Five-piece Pit Pony are just on the cusp of releasing their debut album, World To Me, and it’s an absolute firecracker of an album, which I have had the absolute honour of reviewing this very fortnight. Reminiscent of a couple of bands I dare to name, those being GHUM and Royal Blood, my whole being is drawn toward a parallel with one of my all time favourite bands, The Duke Spirit.
Maybe it’s the vibe or the rawness, but I’m instantly drawn towards The Duke Spirit. In particular, it’s Jackie Purver’s vocal stylings, which resonate a real comparison to those of the wondrous Liela Moss. Sultry, and at times with downright swagger, they completely ring of iconic rock sensibilities. Much like Chrissie Hynde, or PJ Harvey in uniqueness, Jackie does for that Geordie accent what Liela does for a London one, and in its uniqueness also lies its charm. Musically though, it’s got that iconic garage rock feel, both urgent and fuzzy, in equal measure.
Over the twelve tracks, the thing that strikes me the most is just how listenable it is. For a couple of weeks now, leading up to this review, I have had it playing while at home, and it is just so easy on the ear, that it brightens my day up completely. I will get a little more ‘in-depth’ further on in this review, but there are tracks such as Supermarket, which are so infectious, that you can’t help but move to the music. It’s hard not to be captivated and want to replay this album time and time again.
As debuts go, this is an absolute gem, instantly memorable, and completely loveable…
At no point is there a lull in the atmosphere, and even though some tracks are more upbeat than others, there is no drop in mood throughout. Right from the opening bars of Tide Of Doubt, to the closing seconds on Profit, the need for foot stomping and finger drumming on anything that makes a sound, is always present. Honestly, I implore you to listen to Cold, and not be making your fingers sore by hitting them on the table edge.
Getting to the tracks, and it’s hard to pull on specific moments that are more noteworthy than others. Obviously, as previously mentioned, Supermarket is a definitive moment, as is See Me Be. Both truly encapsulate the sound of a band eager to impress, with the tunes to back the anticipation. Supermarket is going to be a firm favourite with fans. It’s a cool, slow burn feel, it’s both intense and hypnotic, and beautifully crafted. It’s sultry roll into the choruses are simply divine.
See Me Be catches on that Royal Blood vibe, a big sound, and a wondrous outpouring of DIY, fuzzy punk rock, that’s impossible not to love. Sinking heads towards a retro seventies/eighties’ indie punk rock fuzziness, while the title track World To Me drops into a slower paced soundscape. It’s here that I draw a similarity to Mazzy Star. Not so much in sound, but more so in connotation. It pulls on that airy nineties indie sound, and let’s face it, if you’re going down a path, who better to be walking alongside.
Wish You Would is the pinnacle, the definitive moment for me. It’s high-octane fuzzy rock and roll in all its glory. Hypnotic drum rumbles, scratchy indie guitar, and swathes of that vocal, it truly encapsulates the band at their most energetic. While Best Is Yet pulls me one way, with its more subdued and intense overtones, Underwater is the perfect antidote, with its urgency and groove. It’s just an absolute pleasure to hear. As Profit finishes the album, I dare you to not want to press restart and play the album through, all over again.
As debuts go, this is an absolute gem, instantly memorable, and completely loveable. For me, it’s easily one of the best releases of 2022 and hopefully will see Pit Pony elevated quickly to a position of well-deserved greatness. It isn’t a hard listen, and it’s not all doom and gloom. What it is, is a lesson in just how upbeat, and high-octane music can be, without screeching lyrics, and blast beats for pulverising effect. Purchase, play, enjoy, it’s that simple.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish