Ass Ponys

Ass Ponys


Lauded by Rolling Stone, No Depression, Spin, CMJ, Magnet, and many loyal fans around the world, file the Ass Ponys somewhere between The Embarrassment and John Prine. A little punk, a little noise, a little americana served up with excellent songwriting and instrumentation. Don't fuck with us.


This alternative rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, was formed by Chuck Cleaver (vocals), John Erhardt (guitar), Randy Cheek (bass) and Dan Kleingers (drums). Music obsessives to a man, the band formed in October 1988 and were soon compared to

such acts as Hot Tuna, Pavement and the Minutemen. Cleaver and Kleingers had previously played together in the Lunchbuddies and Gomez, while Cheek enjoyed some small-time success with the Libertines. Erhardt had no prior experience in rock bands, previously working as part of a bluegrass collective. Ass Pony's independent debut for Okra Records was released in June 1990. At this stage the band's songs were still shambolic and erratic, although the germ of their talent was evident. The band returned to Ultrasuede Studios to begin recording material for a second album in October 1990. The working period lasted through winter 1990 and the summer of 1991, during which time Kleingers was replaced by Dave Morrison. He was in place for four of Grim's 16 tracks. Grim was a more subdued effort which was scuppered when distribution agency Rough Trade Records of New York collapsed. Like previous albums produced by John Curley (the Afghan Whigs' bass player and proprietor of Ultrasuede Studios), Electric Rock Music synthesized the strengths of the biting emotional edge of the earlier material. Lyrics explored both large emotional targets and the seemingly insignificant. Despite the transition to a major label (A&M Records), the recording budget was a mere $2,500, and the lyrics had hardly brightened - Cleaver remained obsessed with the hopeless and the doomed, wallowing in the outsider's point of view. The Known Universe was similarly gross lyrically, but great middle eights and memorable riffs made the maggot-infested lyrics almost irrelevant. The album, which marked the end of their association with A&M, featured new guitarist Bill Alletzhauser.
Following an extended hiatus, the band returned to the studio in 1999 with producer Brad Jones to record the excellent Some Stupid With A Flare Gun, released the following year by Checkered Past Records. A second album for the label, Lohio, confirmed their creative renaissance.


Mr. Superlove (Okra - 1990)
Grim (Okra/Safe House - 1993)
Electric Rock Music (A&M - 1994)
The Known Universe (A&M - 1996)
Some Stupid With a Flare Gun (Checkered Past - 2000)
Lohio (Checkered Past - 2001)