Pony Club

Home Truths

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Pony Club's Mark Cullen didn't go any further than his own childhood bedroom when it came to making his first album. Home Truths is the culmination of Pony Club's wear and tear in the music business and personal heartbreaks. Pony Club designs an experimental mess of electronic bits and soul-rock with an honest, yet brash effort. Cullen's cabaret-styled vocals are reminiscent of Suede's Brett Anderson and ex-Soup Dragons frontman Sean Dickson, but Pony Club has his own brilliant swagger. Home Truths is slick in criticizing Hollywood glamour. The dance-trance trip of "The Thing About Men" is a catty take on men's social behavior and pokes at Madonna. "Millions Like Us" catcalls Shania Twain, but the campy rock strut of "CCTV" sashays with a glitzy appeal and spoofs on Britney Spears. Elsewhere, Pony Club is a bit poppier and sweet, but not without an ironic twist. "Tenderness" placates personal failure with a plea for inner peace; "Flaky Wife" laughs at the idyllic family life while sounding like a new wave song discovered from the lost vaults. Home Truths is definitely not short of reality. As a former cab driver from rough neighborhoods of Dublin, Cullen writes about what he knows and has made a songbook for himself. As a musician, Pony Club is a novice, and listeners will find his lost soul. Pony Club has made a decent album -- simple as that.

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