Ersatz garage



I’m the last guy to decry derivativeness in garage music, but these kids are really cruising for a critical bruising. Y’see, in my rock ’n’ roll classroom, neatness never counts, but I do expect a modicum of originality now and then. In other words, when a new record comes out, I don’t like to be reminded of old records that I’ve heard before, song after song after song.

That said, here’s the rerun rundown on Laced With Romance’s first three tracks.

“Let’s Kill Ourselves” modifies the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray” riff while the singer pays tribute to Television’s Tom Verlaine and Pere Ubu’s David Thomas.

Not content to acknowledge Unca Lou just once, the very next song (“10 Fingers 11 Toes”) revisits Reed by adapting both the rhythm and lead riffs from “I’m Waiting For The Man.” This time around, however, the vocalist honors the Ramones’ Joey and the Voidoid’s Richard Hell.

Going three for three, the music on “Sad Eyes” is inspired by Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone theme and the Marketts’ 1964 surf single “Out Of Limits.” Not to be outdone, the singer is influenced by the unique vocal stylings of Talking Head David Byrne via the Diodes’ Paul Robinson.

I could go on, so I will.

“Fall Inn” liberally borrows from the Crystals’ “And Then He Kissed Me.”

“Looking Out A Mirror” alters the intro to the Clash’s “I’m So Bored With The U.S.A.” while simultaneously quoting Gary Numan’s “My Shadow In Vain.”

“Trouble Trouble” remodels the Standells’ “Dirty Water.”

I’m sure you get the forged picture by now. The Ponys may consider Laced With Romance to be infused with inspiration, but up here at the front of the class my final grade says that it’s one copycat gallop away from the glue factory.

They shoot horses, don’t they?


The Ponys appear at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-9700) with Fiery Furnaces on Friday, June 18.

E-mail Jeffrey Morgan at

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