My name is
Francis Baptiste.
I review new music
every Friday.

Phono Pony – Monkey Paw

Written Friday, August 2

This is a great sounding rock album. Phono Pony are a rock duo, Michael Kenyon on guitar and vocals, and Shay Hayashi on drums and synths. Between the two of them they’ve created an awesomely simple and powerful rock album. From the first chords on the opening track, 00100, you get a clear sign of what you’re in for: driving beats, loud guitars, catchy choruses. 

Songs like 00100, Monkey Paw, and Vacant have Phono Pony playing to their strengths super effectively. The recipe is simple and as old as time: heavy guitars plus heavy beats equal rock. The vocal stylings from Kenyon add a lot of character to their overall sound. On a song like Vacant we get a versatile performance that I found a bit reminiscent of Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother. 

Losing the Spark is a great example of keeping things simple to great effect. The two note riff and the straight forward bass drum and snare beat is a throwback to the simpler days of rock. It instantly gets the toe tapping.

It’s worth noting that aside from playing music, this duo manages The Woods Studio on 2nd Avenue in Vancouver. It’s a multi-purpose venue, sometimes for shows, sometimes for recording. And they just came back from a US tour, so it sounds like they’ve managed to stay busy.

Listen here: