"Pony Face are pure class. Unhurried sonic explorers looking for light even in the dark, quiet corners of song. Despite their impressive back catalogue, one has the sense their best work is still to come..."
Karen Leng - DoubleJ
Pony Face have well and truly established themselves as one of the most revered & beloved bands in the Melbourne music scene. Pony Face have garnered a rare kind of praise for their live shows and records which has earned them the opening spot for lee Ronaldo (Sonic Youth) Bombino and Augie March They've played headlined slots at Boogie Festival, Summer of Soul, Kyneton Music Festival, St Kilda Festival, Hunter Valley Gumball Festival, Apollo Bay, Hills are Alive Festival, Darebin and Brunswick Festival, as well as all the major rock venues in metro Melbourne and Sydney.
Pony Face's music is a sonic kaleidoscope, encompassing psych/surf guitars, doom drums, bass lines moulded from rock bottom and sampled textural layers which have become synonymous with a loud spacial sound. With the recent addition of Aria awarding winning Producer/guitarist Shane O'Mara, the band has dazzling energy that captivates intimate rooms and packed houses.
Straddling the divide between blissful and brooding, Pony Face take listeners on an aural journey down a highway that links the crystalline intimacy of Sparklehorse, the dark rock noir of Rowland S Howard and the uniquely Australian feel of Dirty Three.
Pony Face have released 4 full length studio albums, including 2012's 'Hypnotised' which was nominated for EG's Best Album of the Year. Most recently Pony Face took on and interpreted Bruce Springsteen's classic album Nebraska, and performed it as a part of Rockwiz presents Pure Pops Records Classic albums, it was the first of 74 acts to sell out.
“The groove is in the spaces in between. They allow the music to breathe with possibilities, their supple songs insinuate themselves into the mind, their playing fuses them with the imagination. They are so much more than the sum of their parts”
Stephen Walker RRR FM
"The first time I ever heard Pony Face I was hypnotized and agitated all at once. I couldn't move until I inhaled every last, achingly beautiful sound, but I also had that impatient need to find out who the fuck they were and where they were from.." Looking very forward to whatever they do next."
Fee B Squared RRR FM 102.7FM
You get the feeling that when Pony Face come together to write music, minutes would quickly turn into hours that would soon turn into days and possibly weeks. Within their rich tapestry of sounds, there’s a permeation of ideas that slowly unravel to release an energy which helps develop an overwhelming contortion of the senses. Tonight’s launch of Hypnotised is the first of nine East Coast shows that celebrate their second full-length release. It’s an aptly named title; the hypnotic effect of their sound is certainly spell binding.
Key opener Howdy Moon uses Emond’s steady toms-laden percussion with the eerie, slow burn of Bailey’s guitar and ringing synths. It’s a slow motion attack on the room that soon breaks open into cymbals, fuzz and sparks. A red hot Alabama builds pace. "Stuck down the bottom of an abandoned mine/Where the walls are cold and the sun doesn’t shine" is mumbled threw somewhat gritted teeth; the deep drawl that signifies Bailey’s laconic vocal prowess. It’s an earthy and austere manner in which he delivers the echoing chorus that has energised community radio wires for months now – the audience is sold. Matty Vehl guests, to bring in exploding keys as the guitar rings out like a train careering through a tunnel.
A three-piece by nature, Pony Face have tonight enlisted some friends for additional effect (vocal assistance by Jaye Kranz and Mia Shaw and the aforementioned Vehl). Yet the trio are incredibly capable of creating a big sound on their own with the use of programmed loops that at times allow Emond to put down the sticks and pick up the guitar. It swirls tremendously in tracks like Warning Bell and Hypnotised where notes climb up and down the fretboard.
The stage is lit like a whore house for Stripper. The bass is constant and cathartic, all other elements projecting a cinematic feel too. Silver Tongue is truly infectious with its scratchy digital intro and rich groove throughout. The band look at home here; excitement and enthusiasm painted on their faces. Perhaps feeling the reward for all their efforts.
Dymke, who appears like a mix of Abba’s Benny Andersson and a young Obi Wan, demonstrates his churning bass on Disco Cops. It’s punchy percussion has Emond popping and dropping more tom action and crashing cymbals.
Stars Are Bright, Sheelong, Devil, Bermuda and Nebraska are all reminders of how strong Pony Face has been for over six years now and there’s no doubt that, matched by the release of Hypnotised and performances such as tonight, the love for these tight knit locals will continue to spread.
BY JOHN DONALDSON - Beat magazine
Pony Face (Independent) ★★★★☆
AFTER a few listens you think you've gotten to the nub of Pony Face - you think you have - but then another listen, and another, to the Melbourne trio's second album, and more layers reveal themselves, and deepen your appreciation. The textures here are outstanding; sharp and crisp sounds sitting beautifully with warm and round, thanks to gun engineer-producer Casey Rice. Opening track Silver Tongue, with guitar lines soaring and droning amid electronic prickles and the laconic vocal of singer-guitarist Simon Bailey, brings to mind Richard Buckner canoodling with a Flying Nun. It's one of the more pop moments on the album, along with the driving raga-psych-rock of Alabama, but as the album progresses a darker, post-punk voice comes to the fore, in songs such as the grand and gritty Disco Cops, the beautiful soundscapes of Lady Land, and the raw emotion and instrumentation of the title track. The songs unhurriedly reach their shapely potential - normally at around five minutes - by which time you'd swear each has its own pulse.
JO ROBERTS - The Age newspaper
a new direction from their first album Stars Are Bright, the lads have teamed up with local producer Casey Rice (Dirty Three, Liz Phair), a winning collaboration that has created a masterful second album and successfully (as many sophomore efforts struggle to do) continued the evolution and development of the band’s own unique sound. Humming guitars, textured distortions and unrelenting melodies combine creating a unique and mesmerising sound. With a backbone of throbbing bass lines and rich expansive drums, the album is full of skilled and careful layers. Opening track ‘Silver Tongue’ gently draws the listener into Pony Face’s musical pulse with Bailey’s nonchalantly cool vocals.
Each song is distinctly unique from the last, yet the album is a cohesive whole, seamlessly flowing together with a sound that embraces the nostalgic while still feeling new and fresh. The lo-fi guitar growls featured on ‘Disco Cops’ are the perfect seduction, but the most addictive track by far though must be ‘Alabama’; upbeat and refreshing this track will be stuck in your head for days, in the best possible way. Reflective, hopeful and adventurous, Hypnotised makes you want to venture out into the world and should feature on any self respecting road trip playlist. Pony Face have created a powerful musical fusion with a sound that is all their own, simultaneously rocking yet chilled, a pleasurable psychedelic paradox to wrap around your ear drums.
Amy Shackell - TONE DEAF
Though by no means under appreciated, it’s hard to imagine that even Pony Face’s strongest proponents thought they were capable of something as fully-formed as Hypnotised so early in their career. At its best, Hypnotised fuses elements of krautrock and shoegaze – which is just an elaborate way of saying that they rock out serenely and extensively.
Faster Louder - Edward Sharp Paul
Warning bell: Such attention to detail in Pony Face songs. This particular track's got a beautifully morose melody that's been stuck in my head for days. I'm really looking forward to a big listen of the new record.
Steph Hughes - Triple J
"Two days is a lovely song, all plangent guitars barely masking bittersweet, urgent quality that rumbles just below the surface of the song only to reveal itself in the final 30 seconds or so. If this is any indication of its quality, I look forward to their forthcoming debut album."
Clem Bastow - Inpress - Single of the Week