Pong

Gone (Saustex)

Crazy From the Heat

Pong

Gone (Saustex)

Bouncing off satellites like the Nineties – and for that matter, the Fifties, Sixties, and most of the Aughties – never happened, Pong gets good and Gone on album No. 3. Grown to a septet with the addition of singer Kerri Atwood, the band of former Ed Halls, Moist Fists, and Pocket FishRmen pogos through its patented blend of post-punk discowave and classic rock riff-bang as deftly as ever. Bright-eyed and shiny-tailed, "Electronic Friend" and "Livin' in the Future" froth like pop hits from the early Reagan years, the latter naughtily filtering a melody borrowed from Loverboy through a Gary Numan strainer. "Fish Sauce," "The Spot" (with its floating Donna Summer scat), and "Still Here" jerk the herk with leering enthusiasm and no small amount of skill, lacking only an ironic cultural agenda and a Booji Boy to be seminal New Wave signposts. "Sleepwalker" starts with lush, nearly folky pop before twisting its knees into a clangier, clattering bridge. Atwood showcase "Lyman Was the Pillow" waves its dream logic like a lighter at a concert. Quirky in just the right way, Gone keeps feet in both breezy irreverence and dedicated craftspersonship, while still enticing the most bearded hipster to dance.

***.5

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