Orville Peck
Pony


4.0
excellent

Review

by PsychicChris USER (324 Reviews)
July 9th, 2019 | 25 replies


Release Date: 03/22/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whether it’s post-punk through a country lens or the other way around, Pony stays committed to a solid vision

While the mysterious Orville Peck’s full-length debut Pony has been primarily turning heads in country circles, its presentation has deeper roots in shoegaze or post-punk. The abstract pacing has more in common with Joy Division’s slowest ventures and the western atmosphere is built upon glossy guitar effects and vocal filters with traditional instrumentation making sparse appearances. The deeper vocals also draw more comparisons to Ian Curtis or Astbury than Roy Orbison or Johnny Cash.

Such a setup would imply gimmickry or an identity crisis between different styles, but Peck owns up to the aesthetic at hand. The tone is consistent throughout, bright yet bleak with an openness that is enhanced by the minimalist instrumentation, and the mood has a sense of restraint on even the rare upbeat tracks. The whistles and occasional sound effects may seem cartoonish, but nothing ever sounds out of place and the dynamic is well balanced.

The songwriting also stays steady throughout, consisting almost entirely of slowly building numbers. This can make for rather repetitive listening even with a forty-minute runtime, but the sheer pathos ensures engagement. “Dead of Night” sets the stage quite smoothly, driven by a subtle beat and shifting between low verses and high choruses. “Queen of the Rodeo” and “Kansas (Remembers Me Now)” utilize the formula to similar satisfaction and “Roses are Falling” stands out further with a more active waltz. The more upbeat tracks like “Turn to Hate” and “Turn You Back (The Iron Hoof Cattle Call)” also do a good job of shaking things up, even if they don’t strike quite as deep.

With all this in mind, part of me feels like the album would’ve benefitted from some extra oomph. The percussion is oftentimes buried in the mix and while a more bombastic performance would’ve felt disingenuous, the emotional swells could’ve been even more impactful with some extra power behind them. Such a move might’ve also helped resolve the songs’ soundalike tendencies and worked to form a more cohesive whole.

If you’ve ever wanted an album full of songs like The Cult’s “Brother Wolf, Sister Moon,” then Orville Peck’s Pony just might be the album for you. Whether it’s post-punk through a country lens or the other way around, it stays committed to a solid vision. Sometimes the flow feels more like a collection of songs rather than a fully developed whole, but the overall mood stays consistent and there are some fantastic tracks on here. I imagine Orville Peck’s MO will be even more effective with further development, but this debut makes a great first impression.

Highlights:
“Dead of Night”
“Queen of the Rodeo”
“Kansas (Remembers Me Now)”
“Roses are Falling”
“Hope to Die”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (88)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Mathias (5)
Country music for all, just the way it should be....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofDoof
July 9th 2019


7165 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to listen to this one again...I liked it, I wasn't knocked off my feet by it

Digging: The Go-Betweens - Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express

Papa Universe
July 9th 2019


22505 Comments


"post-punk through a country lens"
my post-punk senses are tingling
orville POS - POSy

DadKungFu
July 10th 2019


721 Comments


"post-punk through a country lens"
my country senses are tingling.

AmericanFlagAsh
July 15th 2019


9270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Sad yee-haw

Digging: Ichiko Aoba - 0 (Zero)

dmathias52
July 21st 2019


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This seems like it was tailor made for me. Theatrical country with great vocals and shoegaze tendencies? Yeehaw all the way

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2019


11764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This grew on me so much

Digging: Count Shirintsu - Spirit of the Earth

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2019


9157 Comments


Hmmm this sounds awesome

Digging: Bonny Light Horseman - Bonny Light Horseman

dmathias52
August 10th 2019


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It really is! My country AOTY so far

AffableMartyr
September 5th 2019


512 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is gonna make my yearly top 10

dmathias52
September 10th 2019


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just got tickets to see him in October. Pumped. Gotta imagine he puts on an insane live show

bach
September 26th 2019


16282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fucking underrated

dmathias52
October 5th 2019


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just leaving his live show. Guy has the potential to be a genre defining artist. Already flipping country music on his head

kevbogz
November 14th 2019


1636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

art school country, I dig

Digging: Tanpopo Crisis - Millennium Flower

kevbogz
November 14th 2019


1636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hope to Die made me cried fyi

AmericanFlagAsh
November 14th 2019


9270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I wish the whole album was like Dead of Night

alamo
November 27th 2019


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this

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dmathias52
November 28th 2019


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Top 5 of the year for me without a question. The best album you’ll hear by a Masked Queer Country Artist this year no doubt

theBoneyKing
November 28th 2019


18174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Decent album, was a bit underwhelmed by it earlier in the year.

Digging: Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

dmathias52
November 28th 2019


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I will admit it’s essentially tailor made for me, which helps the enjoyment

alamo
November 28th 2019


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'd go as far as saying it's probably the best album ever made by a Masked Queer Country Artist



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