New Young Pony Club/ The Optimist
New Young Pony Club are back from the wilderness with 'The Optimist' and Mark Wall wonders whether they're keeping pace
New Young Pony Club
After a couple of years in the disco punk wilderness, New Young Pony Club returns. No longer backed by all-conquering Oz label Modular, new LP The Optimist sees the Mercury Prize nominees putting a brave face on things as they go it alone in the neon wilderness.
The accompanying press release makes a point of highlighting the depth of this new set, keen to convince us that there’s more to the group than the party vibes and garish wardrobes that spring to mind when recalling their last brief tour of duty as NME tour darlings. Fair enough I say. A song like ‘Stone’, with its washed out synths and echo-laden vocals suggests a conscious effort to shed the limits of their previous image and is one of the prettiest, psychedelic things you’ll hear this year.
That’s not to say that NYPC can’t knock out a dance-floor stomper when they want to. And would you believe it, on ‘We Want To’ they do just that. A pulsing, metric disco chant-a-long that stands up against anything off the Fantastic Playroom LP; its effortless cool can’t help but remind you of their ability to fill a dance-floor in seconds flat.
The Optimist sees New Young Pony Club, led by front woman/co-writer Ty Bulmer, torn between further exploiting the good time gal persona of the last record and the desire to lay down a few home truths. It is a conflict that creates some intriguing and dramatic moments but you still get the feeling that NYPC have slowed to a canter when all everyone really wants them to do is race for the prize.