The debut album for Housecore Records by this modern psychedelic outfit summons the late 1960's hippie culture, shaded by a modern glean, and strikes a harmonious chord amid the album cover art that at first glance may signify a Sci-Fi western featuring zombies as the outlaws. Maybe an old wine in new bottles thing, but the ensemble's rewarding factors lie within memorable comps. With a touch of progressive-rock amid haunting lyricism, the studio engineering processes embed or perhaps simulate a purist, analog-like soundstage. Featuring psychedelic and hard-rock guitar parts, climactic movements, and a touch of antiquity, the band also embraces the pop-rock spectrum.
"Howlee" is a piece that is reminiscent of vintage Jefferson Airplane fare, although this isn't to say that Ponykillers is a derivative outfit. With the dual guitar attack, the music frames the legendary Haight-Ashbury hippie muse with a touch of soul. And lead guitarist Ben Deffendall's medium-toned, distortion-tinged leads tender a yearning outlook, complementing vocalist Collin Yeo's choruses of "I feel love, like hell." However, the rhythm section's hard-hitting rock groove is offset with staggered flows and a beefy presence, leading to Yeo's spirited refrains and portentous emotive characteristics, engineered with melodic overtones.
One can envision a trippy light-show to accompany a live performance, but Ponykiller's mode of operations is to some degree a bit more refined and not framed on the typical rawness, evidenced in early jam-based psychedelia. Ultimately, the group's upbeat presence is veiled with an appealing mix of dark and luminous colors, hammering pulses, and a congenial format that yields additional rewards on subsequent listens.