the Ponys formed in early 2001, inaugurated by singer/guitarist Jered Gummere in the months prior to dissolution of his previous project, local punk unit the Guilty Pleasures. He began writing and singing with girlfriend and bassist Melissa Elias, and after adding former Mushuganas drummer Nathan Jerde, the Ponys began playing the Windy City club circuit. The late 2002 addition of one-time Happy Supply singer/multi-instrumentalist Ian Adams radically reconfigured the band's sound, transforming their straightforward guitar rock via more idiosyncratic pop melodies and arrangements that accounted for the addition of second guitar and keyboards. During a tour stop in Memphis, the Ponys recorded their debut single, "So Sentimental," issued on the Contaminated label in mid-2003; the follow-up, "Wicked City," appeared on Big Neck by year's end. After agreeing to a handshake deal with Los Angeles label In the Red, the Ponys traveled to Detroit to record their debut full-length with producer Jim Diamond -- the resulting Laced with Romance followed in early 2004. Extensive touring and critical acclaim for the album followed, and in the summer of 2004, the band began work on their second album, Celebration Castle, which was recorded by Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studio in Chicago. The album was released in the spring of 2005; a few months earlier, Ian Adams parted ways with the band, and Brian Case signed on as the newest member of the Ponys. Matador picked up the band soon after, and in 2006 the Ponys found themselves back in the studio recording their third album, Turn the Lights Out, which was released the following year.
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