Pony Up/Pony Down is the new Double EP by Washington D.C./Pittsburgh math rock trio ShowPony. The clever naming for their new release(s) is also an interesting concept with simultaneously releasing EPs that are distinctly different in musical styling and tone. Prior to the Pony Up/Pony Down EPs, the band has released a couple albums fusing together a sound comparable to 90’s angular Don Caballero and Ativin meets 2000’s sci-fi post-rock vibes akin to Maserati. The new EPs find the band exploring math rock ideas further while also incorporating a lot of elements new to the band from 8-bit and video games music that have these releases seemingly work like a bicameral brain. Pony Up/Pony Down will be released on bandcamp and elsewhere on December 20, and you can hear it here first.
Pony Up, is the more traditional math rock focused EP of the two, and pulls a lot of elements from angular math rock and heavier post rock. “Yeah, But…” is the opener and stand out track finding the band jumping in and out styles and genres in a seamless fashion incorporating guitar looping, Billy Cobham-esque pocket drumming, with stand out bass work from Eric Sakmar, and build the song up in a way that sets up the rest of the EP. Pony Up is recommended for fans of Don Cab, Town Portal, Russian Circles, and the heavier, more head banging aspects of math and post rock.
Pony Down continues the use of angular and mathy compositions, but is composed as a suite of several shorts songs in the musical styling of classic video game music. The songs are upbeat, to the point, and sound more like The Advantage or Adebisi Shank than the 90’s math rock vibe of Pony Up. The guitar tone is more synthesized and sounds like a synthesizer for much of the EP and totally makes the video game aesthetic work. Hopefully the band will continue to explore this direction as Pony Down introduces a lot of interesting ideas incorporating mathy guitar and drum work into the world of 8-bit and video game sounding music.
ShowPony’s gorgeous new EPs are out this Friday. Be sure to go and nab your copies via their Bandcamp page right now. What a time to be alive…