Turn the Lights Out (Matador)
Our little Ponys are all grown up. Following two albums of brash, bare garage rock, the Chicago quartet's Matador bow packs on a hefty layer of instrumental embellishment reminiscent of age-proof indie warhorses Yo La Tengo. Occasionally they go too far the other way, gazing at their shoes too long and losing the plot entirely, but otherwise these songs' added depth and dimension justify their authors' frequent sorties into Daydream Nation. Albeit in slightly softer focus, Turn the Lights Out kindles the same mischievous spark of In the Red warm-ups Laced With Romance and Celebration Castle, one that glows no matter how long the guitar solos last. Somewhere on the highways and byways of their chronic touring, the Ponys learned how to play and play well and play well together. Maturity has doomed too many bands to mention over the years, but this ain't one. (Thursday, March 15, Emo's Jr., 1am)
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