So why is The Ponys’ Laced With Romance on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
I’ve written a lot about how music can magically transport us to hyper specific times in our lives. With The Ponys, there’s a very location-specific aspect to my connection with the band.
While The Ponys hail from Chicago, I happened to discover them right after I moved to Seattle in late 2016. Their fuzzed up garage rock sound and organ (a Farfisa organ!) somehow fit the backdrop of my new city and what happened to be the rainiest winter the region had experienced in many years (a true wet welcome for my wife and I, who had previously lived in southern California for many years!).
I love the album title, Laced With Romance. Laced implies a poison, alcohol, elixir, or substance that conjures a stark change from the preexisting equilibrium.
Back when I was doing research for this project, I noted about The Ponys: “These guys have a knack for garage rock with great hooks and a slightly dark goth-y/emo vibe while avoiding the negative trappings of those styles.” “Trouble Trouble” and “Chemical Imbalance” are perfect examples of this. I’ve also realized that The Ponys sound a little bit like garage punk band, The Von Bondies, in a pleasing way.
“I Love You ‘Cause (You Look Like Me)” is a fantastic song title in of itself and shows off The Ponys’ pop chops. More than anything, I could get with that organ vibe all day long.
“Fall Inn” has a fun opening that’s a play off The Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” (highly recognizable to all of my fellow Goodfellas fanatics out there), and has a great fuzzy-meets-dreamy energy.
Personal stuff that has something to do with The Ponys’ Laced With Romance
There’s another hyper specific thing about the timing of my move to Seattle: it was October 2016, mere weeks before the presidential election in which… well, you know what happened.
I had just started a job at Getty Images, and my wife was still living in Pasadena, California to deal with closing our house sale and such.
On election night, I recall being by myself in our rental apartment in Ballard and feeling this intense feeling of disorientation and shock as the results rolled in*.
* As an aside, at the time of this writing in the spring of 2023, the final episodes of the brilliant show Succession are airing (see: it’s… way up there already on The Best 100 TV Shows Ever). The end run deals with the impact of a billionaire family and a very FOX-like media company on elections and American democracy and… it’s both riveting and chilling television.
The next day, very little was mentioned about the election at my office – as is probably best in most corporate settings – but the mood was noticeably subdued, if not grim. I found myself in a conference room that afternoon with a colleague and member of the LGBT community who I had befriended, and finally the topic of the election came up.
She was frightened about what might happen, and said so. She was also teary eyed, which caused me to react in the same way.
That moment has stayed with me.
Some stats & info about The Ponys – Laced With Romance
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Chicago Bands, Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Laced With Romance released? 2004
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #450 out of 1,000
The Ponys’ Laced With Romance on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from The Ponys’ Laced With Romance that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
You make me feel just like I’m insane, yeah, and you’re trouble. You’re trouble.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.