While he's well loved by singer/songwriter fans and earnest roots rockers, Alejandro Escovedo has never made a secret of his love of Mott the Hoople, David Bowie, T. Rex, and other '70s rock acts with a glittery undertow, and his long-ago work with his band Buick MacKane proved he could walk it like he talked it. Escovedo's latest group project, the Fauntleroys, is a somewhat different kettle of fish, but working with a handful of like-minded rock & roll veterans, their debut EP, Below the Pink Pony, confirms he and his compatriots have an appetite for serious rock swagger and big, dirty guitar riffs. The Fauntleroys feature Escovedo on vocals and bass, former Richard Hell and Matthew Sweet sideman Ivan Julian on guitar and vocals, noted rock and soul tunesmith Nicholas Tremulis on guitar and vocals, and Linda Pitmon of Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 on drums and vocals. This is a crew well versed in rock & roll before, during, and after punk, and their gritty but melodic approach makes a big, satisfying noise on these six tunes. "Worry Doll" and "I'm in Love with Everything" fuse a Stones-style strut with a dash of greasy glam, "Suck My Heart Out with a Straw" could have come out of CBGB in 1977, "(This Can't Be) Julie's Song" is a moody number that recalls '60s garage rock and post-punk at the same time, and their cover of the Incredible String Band's "Chinese White" could pass for a Sonic Youth homage with its twisting clouds of noisy guitar and furious percussion. If the individual personalities of the four members stand out distinctly on these tracks, they also complement each other quite well, and there's a rough and ready vibe to this music that suits the songs just right (reinforced by the fact these tunes were written and recorded in a furious four-day session). Below the Pink Pony doesn't always carve out a signature sound for the Fauntleroys, but there's a whole lot of talent in this band and they know how to make room for one another; hopefully there will be a full-length Fauntleroys album that will allow them to build on the impressive work they put in on this quick, dirty, and rewarding debut.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming