"Gay Ghosts"(Hikikomori)

This tape was a nice surprise, initially when I picked it out of the pool I didn’t really have high hopes. Neither the band name nor the title of the album really rang with me, but I liked the album art enough to pick it up and I’m glad I did. Antique Pony are from Glasgow (home of other cool noisy rock band Divorce), and craft a dark and moody blend of art rock with a very original composition and execution. “Halloween,” the opener on the tape, is a nod to Slint era post rock with mumbled, monotone vocals buried beneath harmonic waves of guitar. The second track is a total winner, and probably my favorite on the tape, particularly the end portion where they bust out a violin and launch into a killer groove with the plucked strings right up in front. I was a big fan of “Beautiful Atlas,” which starts off the B side with some interesting found audio, and some truly ominous piano drones. The songs on the B side are much less spectacular, but c’est la vie, not every tune can be a winner and I can safely say there are no bad songs on this tape. Antique Pony blend together a lot of familiar indie rock elements, from the Slint-ish vocals to the Sonic Youth guitar squalls, but with a unique aesthetic that never feels like imitation. Highly recommended.

----Timothy Johnson