- Thu, 2007-06-07 11:17
After three years as an underground dance band, appearing way lower on various tour billings than deserved and having their music used on a commercial, New Young Pony Club finally release their debut album Fantastic Playroom. And about time too!
The three parts sexy, two parts hairy London pop-punk dance-funk quintet have had to sit on the album for over a year, until record execs at Modular decided the band had 'built enough profile' to release it. And, whilst it must have been frustrating for NYPC to stand by and watch as lesser exponents of nu-rave released middling records, it somehow suits the sexiest, most stylish exponents of the genre to arrive fashionably late.
And now they're here, New Young Pony Club are about to effortlessly cross over into the mainstream, and become favourites of the hip scenesters and more sophisticated and discerning fans of 80's electro alike.
Delivered with Tahita Bulmer's trademark ice cool Iggy-inspired post-feminist sexy drawl and chocked full of sussed and sassy future classic singles, Fantastic Playground has a knowingness and intelligence that has been sorely lacking in electro-pop for nigh on a decade.
Tracks like the reworked opener Get Lucky invariably begin starkly with Andy Spence's Stranglers-style guitar riffing, before the impossibly pretty Lou drenches the last minute in luscious synths, adding emotion and the odd dash of warmth.
On Ice Cream, Tahita offers to 'give us what we want' as some kind of excellent sex threat (we wish) and, both the superb Jerk Me and the minimalist funk of Hiding On The Staircase, have Top 10 written all over them.
In fact, additional props go to Spence and Bulmer for having the nous to pace this album and it's songs so brilliantly, slowing things to a funky canter midway through.
The Bomb though is Fantastic Playroom's primus inter pares (first among equals). With it's stuttered vocals, Igor's throbbing bassline and the swoonsome Sarah's pounding beat, this is classic NYPC in full flight as self confessed 'synths band with guitars'.
Played live, the Bomb is a fail-safe winner-over of crowds, and we dare you not dance if the firm but foxy Tahita tells you to.
Fantastic Playroom is a record for the club, the bedroom or the beach and New Young Pony Club are the best looking, best dressed, most savvy synth-pop band in Britain bar none.
Far, far better late than never.
Review by Chris Waugh