Soda Pony: half adorable, half abominable.
This appropriately titled second album from Whitehorse, YK duo, Soda Pony, is a Neil Young-inspired account of science fiction and strange love songs. Sophomore serves up an excellent mess of vocals, grunge guitars and synthesizer melody which expands on Aidan Tentrees and Patrick Hamilton’s wicked cool Self Titled Debut Album.
The backing vocals for “On The Line,” which asks the employee “do you really wanna work here?”, are earnestly up-lifting. It describes the dreadful feeling that every coming-of-age person experiences – working in fast food. “Fishnets, cigarettes, headset, hairnet – do you really wanna work here?”, the line hits me close to home.
“Red Planet” is a growling movement. A science fiction whose final chorus goes on forever and ever. Charged and driving, the guitar rolls back and forth between two chords. The synthesizer on the pre-chorus gets you stoked and ready for the large gang vocals that propel: “Red… Planet!”. It’s a grungy tale of absurdity.
“Captains Log” is a nautical love song, full of criminals, alcohol, and tattoos. The hooks are real, and I’m not talking about captains. The bridge contains a cheerful vamp on the synthesizer that returns to the band jamming over a track of scurvy talk. “I get lonely at sea” announces Tentrees as if it were a state of emergency.
Sophomore is an uplifting album, chock full of synthesizer, drums, and guitar that best encapsulates the band. The record finishes with “Fireplace Channel”, a wanky number about getting old and watching TV. Keys vamping, drums building and a subtle dose of distortion – a great sound for reuniting with friends over summer.
Top Tracks: “Dancing“; “On The Line”; “Fireplace Channel”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)