Tired Pony: The Ghost of the Mountain – review

(Fiction/Polydor)

The second outing for the occasional "supergroup" featuring REM's Peter Buck and producer Jacknife Lee is again dominated by Gary Lightbody. The Snow Patrol singer's fretful voice and character inhabits these cinematic songs of escape, fleeting encounters and the emptiness of life on the road – which will hardly have been eased by making another album. Something of a gentler, more Americana-style Snow Patrol, Tired Pony's songs provide space for Lightbody's lyrics and imagery to breathe. However, with Blood soon thinking better of its Motown groove, most of the songs chug along at the same pace, which makes any surprises more than welcome: Punishment packs a fat electro beat, while The Beginning of the End and Ravens And Wolves nod big black hats to mid-period Sisters of Mercy's widescreen goth. Lightbody throws in some self-effacing humour – "Here am I, a right mess/ Here you are in the right dress" – and an F-word disrupts the atmospheric calm with the subtlety of a fart in the cinema.

Contributor

Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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