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Good Read: The Red Pony

Compared to most reading assigned during high school, John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony an especial treat because it’s an absolute breeze to read. It’s a great read that can be done in an afternoon. Japanese band The Red Pony initially seems to channel that same brisk skill, most of the shoegazey tracks featured on their MySpace finish just under the four-minute mark. All these songs come off as nice stabs at Galaxie 500 dream rock…”The Wander Ones” in particular shines. A pleasant band for a pleasant afternoon, right?

Then comes “No Title,” The Red Pony’s most breathtaking work available and definitely not as simple as everything else they’ve done. At eight minutes, “No Title” flirts with epic post-rock but crucially never gives in to it completely. All the gentle rises and guitar explosions serve to enhance the song, which also includes slightly distorted vocals and some very lonely piano. The band’s other songs are nice enough, but can’t come close to matching the seismic punch of “No Title.” Sometimes, the longer works satisfy more than the easy ones.