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Mar 12

New Young Pony Club: “Hiding on the Staircase”

New Young Pony Club -- Fantastic Playroom

Despite what most people think, New Young Pony Club was NOT spelling out "H-E-L-P!" in semaphore.

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The New Young Pony Club are a British band that marry a New Wave/punk aesthetic to dance rhythms — the result is a very successful update of the kind of thing Romeo Void did back in the early ’80s with such songs as “Never Say Never” (aka, “I might like you better if we slept together”), with more sophisticated rhythmic complexity. Primarily it’s the cold, somewhat robotic singing style set against the funky rhythms that feels similar. Add in a touch of Elastica, and it’s a veritable New Wave jambalaya. (“Sure, Dave — whatever!”)

“Hiding on the Staircase” is among my favorite songs on their 2007 debut, the excellent Fantastic Playroom. Despite a very defined style, the New Young Pony Club was able to sufficiently differentiate each song so that there wasn’t really a sense of listening merely to variations on the same song. “Hiding on the Staircase” throws some Fear of Music-era Talking Heads rhythms (think “I Zimbra”) into the mix, for a tight, intense groove, underlying a song that would appear to be about children having to watch their parents repeatedly argue as their marriage falls apart. The detached singing juxtaposed with the emotional subject matter forces the tension into the music, and it delivers — the militaristic funk beat underscores the idea of an emotional battering. But if that sounds too intense to have a good time with, fear not — you can instead just ignore all that and let the groove carry you along. It’s great music to get things done around the house to, if those you live with don’t have a problem with you dancing while cleaning.

2 Comments

  1. hey dave i’m still here just took a computer vacation for a bit. have to admit glad i missed fleetwood gag. this song really sound like a 70’s throwback, romeo void and talking heads are sharp compariison. they remind me a bit of the yeah yeah yeah’s but without the sonic dynamics.. still i may walk around saying gag me with a spoon.
    now i’m on a mission from god to collect dog songs or bands. thought of another bonzo dog doo da band. maybe i’m dreaming. so i think that you should do a rutles/beatles thing- play the rutlles song such ouch and the beatles help

    1. Dave Gershman says:

      Hey, welcome back, Terry! Good to hear from you. I hope you either know or at least listened to the FM song…it’s a good one, really.

      As for “dog” bands, there’s always “That Dog” (or “that dog,” as they preferred to be called). And Temple of the Dog.

      Good idea about the Rutles…I just might have to do that…

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