Pit Ponies - Magnificent Second Occupation - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Pit Ponies - Magnificent Second Occupation

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2015-07-27

Pub rockers are the equivalent of bar bands here in the states, and Pit Ponies are the best that I’ve heard in a while. The blues-based anthems and ballads, rough around the edges vocals, and off-kilter, whiskey-tinged backing vocals combine with raggedy yet perfectly executed guitars, cheap-sounding complementary organ, and pathos-ridden working man lyrics undercut with just the right amount of blue-collar irony and drunken desire for things they don’t have the money for. There's not a drinking establishment with a small wooden stage on any continent that wouldn’t embrace this band.

And yes, the quality, lovability, and brilliance of such a band only grows with each pint. I can’t stop listening to Magnificant Second Occupation…without reaching for a cold one.  Even the title alludes to a handful of working class blokes taping their instruments together and heading off to the next local pub gig.

And Pit Ponies have it perfected.  Starting off with a stuttering, staggering, simulated drunken guitar riff and a pathos-ridden lament, ‘Mountains’ sets the framework perfectly and the second track, ‘Life Part II’, picks the pace up a bit but continues the lament to some lover that the narrator just can’t seem to have enough money or ambition to get them that place by the sea. (Another round, please…)  And the laments just keep comically piling up with the non-country sounding ‘Country Song’ that has the songwriter crying about the seawater eating away their brains.

Perhaps I would be more critical of a lyricist who drawls, ‘I love the commonplace…’ as just a tad bit condescending, but when he pleads to be taken back to the water of her geranium lake…I have to keep listening and listening.

Most every song on Magnificent Second Occupation has a slow bluesy pace meant to be listened to with a pint in one hand and an arm around a swaying shoulder.

And I love it. Cheers, Pit Ponies! And please come to middle America  (And polish up your cover of ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ as this is a pre-requisite to play upon request here in the states by every single bar band…)

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