No longer new, no longer young. No longer ponies, no longer a club. Singer Tahita Bulmer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Spence, formerly two fifths of New Young Pony Club are now the entirety of NYPC.
‘NYPC’ is a reasonable return. It’s polished, sleek and there’s a definite pleasure to be derived from admiring its stark, modern lines. Should you be inclined to compare it to anyone, then one could churlishly suggest New Young Pony Club would be a pretty fair place to start, but there are bits of others in there. Essentially anything sitting at the classier end of the pop market.
And it is quite classy. ‘Hard Knocks’ sets the stall out early, as upon squirming synths Bulmer icily barks instructions with a certain clipped precision. ‘Sure As The Sun’ adds some glittery whooshes to the mix, making the whole thing sounds a bit like Ladyhawke, while the clanking ‘I Came Through For You’ aims for the industrial clout of Zola Jesus, without quite making the same impact.
Which is sort of the issue. NYPC is classy, but lacks stand out moments. The only exception is ‘L.O.V.E’, which combines a simple bass line and some slowly modulating tones to produce something that sits somewhere between Are Friends Electric? and a John Carpenter soundtrack, which totally suits Bulmer’s purr.
Across the rest, there is a bit of a lack of personality. The songs are admirable, but there’s nothing which implants in to the imagination and refuses to leave with all the bloody-minded determination of an agoraphobic tick who has just got the place exactly how he likes it.