There are a lot of things you could say about Pony Time that wouldn’t be quite on target: that they’re genius in the way that they evoke a bygone 1960s garage rock sound. That they’re revivalists of the best era of rock music — conduits to a simpler time when music was more about dancing and less about art. Or you could compare them to that other male-female two-piece that no rock duo will ever escape comparison to again: the White Stripes.
You could say those things — but you’d be dramatically overselling Pony Time.
In fact, even Stacy Peck, Pony Time’s drummer, doesn’t make an effort to class up the band’s backstory. “We’re just a couple of grown adults playing punk rock music. We’ve been doing this for three years and are still having a good time, so it seems to be going pretty well,” she says on a break from South by Southwest. “We didn’t set out to do anything in particular. We were roommates and had our instruments, and this is just kind of what happened.”
Today, the band still evokes that “this is just kind of what happened” sound: cymbals clang like tin, the snare drum rattles and shakes. On the microphone, the singer is snotty and self-assured — on some songs it’s like you can actually hear the sneer spread across his face as he shouts and croons.
But there is a stroke of genius in what this Seattle two-piece outfit does: they make music that doesn’t concern itself with all of the effects and complications that anchor so many other bands these days. Without anything to weigh them down, they hammer out a sound that drips with attitude, and that transcends genre confines. Anybody can like Pony Time.
And they do: their no-frills, straightforward rock ‘n’ roll is converting audiences across the country, from the crowds of South by Southwest to the writers at VICE, who’ve written up the band more than once in the past year.
Peck, a cook by day, found a perfect musical partner in bass player Luke Beetham, an electrician. She says there wasn’t a sound that they were going for — nothing was pre-planned, in fact.
“Trying to make music sound ‘radio friendly’ or whatever usually just makes things sound like shit to me,” she says.
Pony Time isn’t trying to be anything other than who they already are: a girl with her hair in her face as she drums, a guy who wears his bass guitar up high like a Beatle.
That’s something that can speak to everybody.
Pony Time with Stickers, BBBBandits and 66beat • Fri, March 22, at 9 pm • Mootsy’s • $5 • 21+ • 838-1570