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The Deli Philly’s April Album of the Month: Tenderheart - Dangerous Ponies

The Deli Philly’s April Album of the Month: Tenderheart - Dangerous Ponies

Dangerous Ponies’ latest release, a four-song EP entitled Tenderheart, emphatically meets the expectations of their fans. Tenderheart is a systematic combination of fresh rocking, dance-inspiring, indie pop led by the supreme vocals of Chrissy Tashjian and the band’s innate ability to construct and balance complex musical compositions, stacking tight layers of sound, with the help of producer Joe Reinhart, while retaining a clean crispness.

The EP’s title track sets the standard. A guitar riff assisted by some light smacking percussion and a subtly twinkling keyboard anchors the stage before the song kicks into high gear. As the powerful fuzzed-out combination of drums, bass and volatile guitar pushes forward, Tashjian finds a natural place for her voice and lyrics - “You got a lot of ghost/You got to let them all out.” While the percussion and vocals are aligned in the center, the guitar work weaves from side to side, stretching out on a little run before briefly falling back to the original vocal/drum/keyboard combination, reemerging in a blistering fuzzed-out explosion that’s completed by warning micro chant “Watch Out!”

Seamlessly leading into “Sparks,” rumbling drums and claps form a base, but the song takes an unexpected route when a bright choir-esque vocal teams up with Tashjian’s lead, developing an airiness before yet another transition - one from keys into guitar. A chunky bass/guitar groove thrusts into a dual laser beam guitar riff.

“California” is a microcosm of the band’s ability to blend an array of styles into a dense rich package. What begins as a poppy vocal song using a twangy guitar and a snap/pop driving percussive backdrop quickly changes shape morphing into a fuzzed-out guitar lick; then turning into a pulsing bass/key scenario nod to The Clash. Finally, the two-worlds meet as a twangy/fuzz guitars rip through, and the song comes full circle closing out with a polished choral/lead vocal marriage.

Tenderheart rounds itself out with anthemic “Dogfite.” Similar to its predecessors, the closing track shape-shifts as it moves. Beginning at a precise jogging pace that puts emphasis on the groove, but after coasting down the road, it speeds up merging into a raunchy fuzz-guitar explosion, and then steps back with as a slick lick and drum beat creating a path for Tashjian to lament, “Everything in you, is in me too/the nature of us we are so free.” And as the full instrumental artillery reemerges, the rest of the band’s wails of “Are we strong enough?” go head to head with the lead vocals, providing the song and Tenderheart, as a whole, with a dynamic and powerful ending.

Dangerous Ponies have found a way to craft music that streamlines genres, proving that if the individual pieces know how to come together, the final product, even in just four songs, can truly stretch the boundaries. - Michael Colavita 

Published: April 01, 2013 |

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