It’s back to the basics for this Canadian (Hamilton, Ontario) threesome – bass, drums and a guitar. Sweet.
Despite the simple set-up, there's still plenty to say about Flamingo Bay and their album Loco Pony. Their sound is stripped-down rock and roll that gives prominence to guitar, bass and drums in equal measure. The way the tracks are mixed, no instrument truly outstrips the others. For example, "Serpentine," does this excellently with its instrumental bridges. Catchy rhythms also seem to be the order of the day, such as on the rollicking "Ballad of the Nomad" and the pummeling guitar and drums drive on "Bleed." And then the SICK riff on "Honey Bucket." Actually that song sort of reminds me of the Archie Bronson Outfit.
Loco Pony's biggest draw, though, isn't the fun, frenetic compositions but the reserves of energy the band mates exhibit. Throughout the nine tracks, their exuberance never wears thin. Even on less confrontational tracks like the heartfelt "Take Me Down," with its unsure chorus of "Tell me now some how / will I ever come back down," Flamingo Bay never loses gusto. That's tough to sustain, and these aren't punk songs; the shortest track here is just under three minutes.
Fun but never frivolous, Loco Pony is a mature take on garage rock that allows all its members to display their own particular talents. The interplay is seamless, and many of the compositions draw their strength from how the instruments relate to each other. The end track, "El Gallo," is one of the best examples of this, even when a solo harmonica arrives to send the album off into the sunset.
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