Album Review: Dark Pony, “Suburban Serenade Vol. 1”
This 12-track collection of lush rock melodies and introspective wordsmithery is the brainchild of Minneapolis’ Jon Herchert. Clean, “full” production and warmth made this a pleasure to take in. Of the album’s standouts, “Ludicrous”‘s shades of early ’70’s rock gave way to hearing Rundgrenseque structure and melody. “Turnaround” starts with the feel of a straightforward rock track but then surprises and pleases with tasteful pedal steel runs. “Shallow” again harkens back to a ’70’s style ballad, especially with its use of a Fender Rhodes (or at least a reasonable facsimile); “Dog” is countrified in its delivery and “Afraid To Love” is the standout for me, with its classic rock-ness in all the best ways. Reminiscent of The Black Crowes, it has that down home, sweetly endearing country rock feel. Recurring themes of love, loss and longing ties this album together with cohesiveness and a maturity not recently recognized by me; this is a strong and interesting listen. Well-crafted.