Telstar Ponies

  • Telstar Ponies
  • In the Space of a Few Minutes (UK Fire) 1995 
  • Mors Factum Musica EP (Instant Mayhem) 1996 
  • Voices From the New Music (UK Fire) 1996  (Velvel) 1997 

Founded by Sushil Dade of Soup Dragons and former 18 Wheeler David Keenan (and, for a while, including ex-Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O’Hare in its ever-changing lineup), Glasgow’s Telstar Ponies fell somewhere between the atmospheric goth of Independent Project Records releases and the prolonged indulgence of freeform improvisation. The US-only Mors Factum Musica conveys something of their breadth, with the straightforward rock of “Lugengeschicte” sharing plastic with 13 minutes of Pink Floyd dynamism in “Does Your Heart Have Wings?”

Shortly before taking a two-year hiatus, the Ponies managed to make a double album without overindulgence or a complete reckoning of what they can do. Voices From the New Music stretches from the deep, despairing pangs of David Keenan’s vocals and guitar on “Last Outpost” (reminiscent of Savage Republic member Thom Furman’s solo work as Autumnfair) to the piano-and-drone creepiness of “Aegis Falling” and the desperado whistling on “The Fall of Little Summer.” Telstar Ponies find a snug corner on where goth angst need not be drenched in absurd theatrics or uninspired songform.

[Ben Goldberg]

See also: Teenage Fanclub