Extra Medium Pony's full-length debut sounds like it might have been recorded in the '90s. Songs such as "You and Me" and "Ewe" are ramshackle ballads that adopt the lo-fi approach that acts like Sebadoh and Pavement heartily embraced. And a song like "Junk Yard" looks back even further to bands like The Pixies. Too often, however, the snappy pop tunes don't properly end—many songs just abruptly fade away. There are exceptions. With its stuttering vocals and simple guitar riff, "It Don't Feel Right" is a little more structured and comes to a proper close. And the fragile ballads "Lost" and "Lucky" don't seem tossed off even though they only check in at 90 and 120 seconds respectively. Extra Medium Pony singer-guitarist Rick Spitalsky is a veteran who has played with Dreadful Yawns, Nicholas Megalis, Afternoon Naps and Herzog. As the 18 songs here attest, he's clearly a talented songwriter. If the songs here were just a little more refined, they'd probably have wider appeal. But some asshole critic probably said the same thing about Pavement and Sebadoh, too. — Jeff Niesel
Extra Medium Pony performs with Lowly the Tree Ghost and Nate Jones at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Happy Dog.