It won’t take you long into High Pony’s excellent third LP, All We Did Was Dream, to realize how much you miss some straightforward indie rock. The Brooklyn band is a testament to taking a step back and finding your true sound. After over 70 shows, a tour, and numerous line up changes, High Pony went back into the studio in October 2019 as a trio, left only with founding members Jay Fox (guitars), Pete Stanton (drums), and Seth Goldman (guitar, bass, vocals). This enabled the group to find the right mix of intensity and openness with the final help of producers Adam Reich (Titus Andronicus) and Nick Dooley (Washer).
The biggest thing you will hear on opening track “Way Back East,” which sets the tone for the album, is the scorching wall of guitar that fills the air like a Dinosaur Jr. track and Seth Goldman’s vocals which have a similar inflection and energy of Mac McCaughan (Superchunk). At over 4 minutes, the track is well developed as it plays back n forth from instrument blasts and lyrics. The sharp angular turns in “Drinkin’ Through Your Heaven” reminds me tons of the earliest Modest Mouse albums on Up Records like The Lonesome Crowded West (1997) and This Is A Long Drive… (1996). It is that raw indie rock that blasts through these tracks and gives All We Did Was Dream an infectious staying power with repeat listens.
I think you can hear other groups right now similar to High Pony but what makes All We Did Was Dream stand out is the band’s well composed song structures. The record’s 8 tracks have an average time of 4:45 which lets the band showcase their songwriting talents with themes of forgiveness, acceptance, and a strong desire to be good. High Pony can come at you strong with an all out drum and guitar attack but also can pull way back in places like on “Gentle Ears” which ends with just the hush vocals of Goldman. These longer songs let the band build up, tear down and build up again all within one song. The result is a record in All We Did Was Dream that represents the timeless energetic spirit of indie rock past glories while kicking 2021 in the ass!
Key Tracks: “Way Back East” / “Drinkin’ Through Your Heaven” / “Fool For Too Long”
Artists With Similar Fire: Superchunk / Walt Mink / Modest Mouse