There are other bands capable of delivering rousing revelry and conveying heartfelt emotion, but over the course of their two albums and one EP, the Show Ponies have shown their commitment to delivering a sound that resonates with every listen. Their new outing, the appropriately titled How It All Goes Down, offers definitive proof of that prognosis, thanks to songs that are so robust, so resolute, so instantly engaging, they offer the impression the band’s ready to ascend to the next level.
Band members Clayton Chaney (lead vocals, bass), Andi Carder (lead vocals, banjo), Jason Harris (vocals, guitar), Philip Glenn (fiddle), and Kevin Brown (drums) convey their songs with a conviction that’s absolutely apparent every time out, whether it’s the drive and delight expressed in the opening track “The Time It Takes,” the dry-eyed determination echoed in “Something Good” or the arched independence and defiance that rings through “Shoulda Showed Him.” And when Garder coos about a delicate dalliance on “Sweetly,” suffice it to say she provides proof that she’s sincere in her sentiments. Likewise, if songs like “If You Could Break That Chain,” “Kalamazoo” and “This World Is Not My Home” seem to find purpose in wistful nostalgia, it’s not without cause.
Ultimately, the Show Ponies convey tales of both hope and longing, feelings that won’t be lost on attentive listeners in these troubled times. “God’s gonna set this world on fire,” they exclaim on the triumphant title track’ “And if we’re still around to see how it all goes down, I promise I will love you through the blaze.” There’s no reason to doubt that they’ll do just that.