Though Trick Pony's members are known as honky-tonk rebels, thanks to a string of drinking hits that started in 2001 with "Pour Me," its third album, R.I.D.E.
mostly just proves that old clichés never die; they just retire to the country. The album rehashes 30 years of pop, with a cover of Bonnie Tyler's 1978 pop-country hit "It's a Heartache" (a perfect fit for Heidi Newfield's gravelly voice), a copy of mid-'80s Don Henley in guitarist Keith Burns' "Sad City" (when Darius Rucker shows up, it also echoes mid-'90s Hootie and the Blowfish), and a rip of Big & Rich on "Hillbilly Rich."
Yet until the album's second half, when the material turns second-rate as well as secondhand, the group mostly pulls it off by wrapping the styles around Newfield's raised middle finger, which she offers in a sexy kiss-off to various louts. In one number, she's overcome with joy at a wedding because "I'm not the bride"; in another, she breaks up with a winner over a matter of religion: "He thought he was God/And I didn't." Live, these numbers could be a hoot for the ladies; for their louts, well, at least they get to watch for Newfield's latest outfit.