No Show Ponies
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No Show Ponies

Band Rock

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Jan
27
No Show Ponies @ Abilene

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Jan
07
No Show Ponies @ Gullifty's

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA

Dec
09
No Show Ponies @ Triumph Brewing Company

Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Princeton, New Jersey, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The fun of watching preying mantis eggs hatch is seeing these thousands of little critters eating anything smaller than themselves. Even if that's each other. But the truly amazing thing about it is how each of the thousands of hatchlings is already a perfectly formed adult in pinhead size miniature.

A few local bands are like that. The fun of watching preying mantis eggs hatch is seeing these thousands of little critters eating anything smaller than themselves. Even if that's each other. But the truly amazing thing about it is how each of the thousands of hatchlings is already a perfectly formed adult in pinhead size miniature.

A few local bands are like that. No, not in that they devour each other, though some do. It's that, even when first formed at birth, they are pretty much perfectly formed. With a little time they are just bigger versions of their well-formed selves.

Both No Show Ponies and Condition K fit this bill well. With a couple years under their respective belts, these were both instantly good bands which simply have gotten bigger and more polished with age.

I caught them both at the renovated Shakey's in Hershey last month. Shakey's always had a good vibe and the renovations have improved, not altered, that feeling. The only remaining drawback might be a steel pillar left on the stage (no doubt a structural thing), but the dance floor, the bar areas, and all the seating, etc. have taken a big step up. It looks like classic Shakey's favorites are still playing there.

If anyone wants to nicely, neatly peg the music of No Show Ponies, I'd like to point out where they are wrong. Even though they have some substantial alt-country overall sound, there are few faces of rock, R&B, and pop-rock that they don't show. They can slide from a heavily Motown-influenced number ("Neverland") right into a juke-joint heart-throbber ("What am I to Do?") without breaking anything other than a sweat.

Through and through, the Ponies have a deep musical bench featuring five distinct talents: Jeff Brown, guitar; Ben Brown, vocalist; Dan Ruscito, bass; Jason Jones, drums; Kevin Schoaff, guitar. Often lyrically driven, few could pull off the poetic angst and Hunter S. Thompson absurdity necessary for some of the lines like singer Ben Brown can. With the bushido banzai attitude of a kamikaze lounge singer, he can whip out, "Go ahead and make an angel, down in the snow, 'cause that's as close as we'll get, you know?" with the cold passion of an icicle used as a knife.

No Show Ponies can seem almost indifferent but that's just posture. They are actually horrifyingly compelling to watch. Not unlike big preying mantises. NSP likes to say that they follow their own muses and hope that something strikes home and entices their audience. They've baited up an inviting trap.
- PA Musician Magazine


The No Show Ponies are a hard working rock-based band with big hearts on their sleeves and some magic in their fingertips. Their brand of alt.country may not be the biggest trendiest thing, but as far as this kind of music goes, they are one of the finest local purveyors.

This three-song EP personifies the dictionary definition of alternative country: “it’s down home, unblinking, heart-felt, with a personal authentic expression… self-reflective and consciously linked to tradition…living in the troubadour life regardless of personal sacrifice... with the singer’s voice up front in the mix offering a matter-of-fact personal lyric”

If you just wanted to do an audio file rather than read the above definition (which is actually 16 pages long) you couldn’t do better than just plugging in and listening to What Am I to Do? The Ponies nail the instrumentation, the mix, engineering, and design on this sampler. Lead singer Jeff Brown more than nails the vocals, guitar and lyrics. Most especially the lyrics. In short, this is a textbook perfect project by No Show Ponies.

It’s a tight selection of tunes and only hints at how wide ranging their influences and styles can be. What Am I to Do? Is a perfect little door opener into the world of the No Show Ponies, but don’t expect it to be an exhaustive description of what this band is capable of. - CD Review Guy
- Harrisburg Online


NSP are a band like no other!

Reviewer: Capitol Records Pa Promotions

I highly reccomend The No Show Ponies, I've heard and met a lot of bands in my 2 years of working for Capitol Records Promotions, I have not heard any other band with the talent that these guys have. I see a big future for NSP - might as well buy this album now instead of months/years from now buying it on eBay when its S/O!

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Buy it now you must own it!

Reviewer: Reagan Connelly

I love What am I to do! It has great hooks which I have been singing for days. Seems as if NSP is on the verge of exploding into their music careers. I have caught a few of the shows and really was excited to hear they were releasing this album that I could take home.

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Sign This Band

Reviewer: Making Waves

Sultry swager, and up front staunchness at it's best. - CD Baby


Let’s say Springsteen, The Smithereens and Morrissey all engage in a steamy night of unadulterated rock and roll love-making. What the heck, let’s throw Paul Westerberg in there too. Now, not only would this make for one of the spiciest music tabloids ever, but the morning after, we can assume Morrissey would be scared stiff (I shudder at the melodrama) that somewhere in his uterus, a microscopic organism awaits a slow development to musical infancy.

Nine months later, the scene would go something like this…

Doctor: “It’s a band!”

[Sigh of relief from Springsteen and company.]

Gloating mother Morrissey: “I shall call it No Show Ponies.”

Since the band’s real-life conception in late ’99, No Show Ponies’ founders, brothers Ben and Jeff Brown, have nurtured the band into maturity, assimilating the ideal mix of musical elements and band members to back their finely tuned songwriting abilities.

“We went through a group of different kids,” Ben explains, “to try to get the sound where we wanted it to be.” The most recent change comes with the departure of guitarist Greg Koons. “It was an amicable split,” notes Ben. “He basically had other stuff going on and decided to pursue that.”

New Ponies guitarist Kevin Schoaff joined the band’s rhythm section (drummer Jason Jones and bassist Dan Ruscito) in October with seamless transition. “He’s a ‘feel player,’ for sure,” says Ben, “the kind of guy you that want backing you up. He’s very spontaneous, very adaptable.”

NSP’s latest release, an EP titled What Am I To Do?, prominently displays the Browns’ songwriting not as a sophomoric slapping together of chords, but rather a calculated tact of genre blending. And we hear the result of seasoned songwriting: not groundbreaking, but uncanny in its ability to take the most unpretentious of raw rock and roll progressions and make them sparkle with overt pop sensibility. Snappy lyrics and catchy melodies collide with dark humor, occasional dips into minor keys and a bit of post-pop grit to form a sound that’s familiar but deliberately elusive. It may be simple to peel away NSP’s influences, a little trickier to pack them into a category among kitschy contemporaries.

“At our best, we have the ability to expose the shortcomings of pop in its current sense,” observes Ben. “Pop shouldn’t be a bad word. It has become dreadful. I see a lot of fashion out there, very few true personalities. We would all benefit if a number of radio programmers decided to take a dirt bath.”

“All good artists and songwriters are in pursuit of truth,” adds Jeff, who writes the majority of NSP’s metaphor-laden lyrics. “You can follow that truth wherever it takes you. It might be a dark place or it might be somewhere else – but it’s important to try to portray truth.”

And truth be told, we all know Springsteen, Morrissey and the others didn’t really birth No Show Ponies, but if they did, they’d be proud to know that their little baby band has grown into a responsible adult.

Currently, NSP is in the pre-production stages of an upcoming album slated for release in early to mid 2005. “When we recorded [the EP],” Ben explains, “we wanted to try to capture something that was a little more polished, to try to get a couple of singles out there for people to digest.” But for the full-length: “We’re going to try to record everything and then deconstruct it” for the studio.

- FLY Magazine - Patrick Kirchner - January 2005


Discography

EP "What Am I To Do?" 2004

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

In a time when the term “rock & roll music” has been consolidated with the consumerist sludge that includes reality television and headline news sound bytes, No Show Ponies arrives like a blow to the head. Since the members of No Show Ponies formed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, they have continually won over crowds and their peers alike in their pursuit to make “rock & roll music” mean something again. No Show Ponies succeeds at this goal by focusing on its strengths: writing and performing three-minute pop songs that conjure the spirit of rock’s past, while injecting a sonic and lyrical depth that speaks to the events of the day. Listening to No Show Ponies newest release, What Am I To Do?, several things become clear. First, as the group’s guitar player and primary lyricist, Jeff Brown exists without contemporary peer in his ability to address matters of substance through wry wit and sardonic humor. Then there is the unmistakable baritone of vocalist, Ben Brown, who is equal parts pin-up icon and lounge crooner, often within the same song. Concerning What Am I To Do?, Ben offers, “Lyrically, the record (What Am I To Do?) deals with themes such as the loss of innocence, the notion of identity, and the existential nausea one faces in the modern world…but you can dance to it! That’s our secret weapon; we have a terrific rhythm section. Just ask them. I’m sure they will agree.” Bassist Dan Ruscito and drummer Jason Jones understand the notion of rock & roll; both have spent years individually perfecting their craft. As the rhythm section of No Show Ponies, the two have developed an incendiary chemistry that, at its best, has the ability to close the stigma between white and black music. Both understand that true rock & roll is, after all, colorblind. The addition of guitarist Kevin Schoaff finds the sound of No Show Ponies at its most volatile. Through the playing of Kevin and Jeff, NSP’s guitar attack is at once lacerating and beautiful, which one would expect from a group that cites The Smiths, The Replacements and U2 amongst its influences. Will No Show Ponies, too, reach such prophetic heights? The stars have aligned; the circle has closed; the shit has hit the fan. Look out, it must be a rock & roll band.