UNSEXY NERD PONIES
The Poni Republic, Mexico ***1/2
By Carlos Reyes
Not all family reunions are disastrous as the cliché dictates; in fact, this one is a refreshing experience that senses the very best of commune music, this time made in Tijuana. Marco Antonio Jimenez Gallardo tackles on risky territory, but what seemed like a difficult theme to play with becomes an adventure. Family United offers moments inviting the listener to practice discussion, appreciate the opportunity for such a gathering, and especially engaging are the moments to let it all out. “El futuro en 1982” does a great job setting up the mood, overlapping conversations that seem to go nowhere, but follow a rhythm because they flow from the same vein. This guy appears to have a cinematic sensitivity, which allows him to illustrate his music with much audacity. In cinematic terms, this is like a hyper hybrid of Noah Baumbach's and Gerardo Naranjo’s youthful and conflicting takes on family stability, go look for The Squid and the Whale and Voy a Explotar and see it for yourself. By now you should know that we don’t mind artists performing in a second language instead of their first one, that’s for the artist to decide, but in this case it really becomes a challenge to try and make sense of a song like “1986 Valerie”, perhaps I’m missing out on a message. But that’s when his ability to create images comes in handy; it balances out the few plot holes present. “We are Gold” is an urban-rooted track that explodes with much boldness and serves as a great introduction to the album’s best moment. “Cave Cave Cave” is rebellious, a post-puberty common place most of us had been through, a place where we see authoritarian figures (parents, teachers etc.) as serious threats to our new found freedom, and its flourishing conclusion is a beautiful moment of prosperity. Unsexy Nerd Ponies had previously released Salvation is Here which was bizarrely raw, even more than this one.