New Young Pony Club Fantastic Playroom

If we’re to go by trends as a way of determining what music is fresh and relevant, New Young Pony Club shouldn’t work by today’s standards. Ask any scenester and they’d say that the new wave/post-punk/funk sound is passé. But the Londoners have put a unique stamp on music that originated in the late ’70s with the Factory label by injecting it with a vibrancy that balances fun, wit and dexterity. Cowbells are no longer vital rhythmic devices but former single "Ice Cream” resurrects the farm instrument with subtle finesse that enhances the milky temptations offered by singer Tahita Bulmer. Her collected, forthright posture allows space for her to move between rallying cheerleader and dead-cool dignitary, which is enough to keep you under the music’s spell. But NYPC’s sound isn’t just at the mercy of Bulmer’s lead; the band know it takes a lot to prosper in such a saturated genre and they step up in the technical department. "Hiding On the Staircase” shows their chops for working a polyrhythm, as they burst at the seams with a lovely hubbub of tribal thumping. "The Bomb,” on the other hand, uses a turbulent thrust of dance punk to get its message across, and "The Get Go” indulges in the pristine ambit of New Order’s Low-Life. New Young Pony Club have a lot of various ideas working correctly all at once, which prevents them from becoming the usual drab act plying this sound. Fantastic Playroom delivers on its heavy titular promise, giving indie kids another reliable band to clasp onto when in need of a good time. (Modular/Universal)