Gig Seeker Pro


Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Band Rock EDM


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



"Killer Lifestyle album review"

Killer Lifestyle (Woodeye)

My brother-in-law loaned me this album, and there's a damn good chance he won't be getting it back. Topping the psychedelic bottom-wiggling goodness of Pong's live shows is a tall order, but Killer Lifestyle is a dazzling aural postcard that'll make you wish you were there. Pong carries on the chunky rhythm section purveyed by bassist Larry Strub and drummer Lyman Hardy during the heady days of Austin's vaunted Ed Hall, but the action up top is a different story. Guitarists Gary Chester and Jason Craig, along with keyboard wizard Shane Shelton, wrap the local quintet's slow-driving groove up in a veil of Brian Eno-style retro-futurism that lends the proceedings the air of a 1975 Berlin bomb-shelter orgy with your hosts Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Killer Lifestyle commences enthusiastically with the summer top-dropping chug of "Foot Foot," a tribute to the local band of the same name, not the Shaggs' dearly departed canine. Then we mellow out slightly with "Incapacitated," a doomsayer ode given extra weight by Chester's tasteful, un-Frampton-like use of the talk box. "New World Order" turns the nightmarish First World pursuit of store-bought happiness in on itself as a collective marathon dance on the ruins that becomes more fevered with every round. The album loses a bit of momentum in the bottom third, but recovers nicely with a robotic sing-along workout of Pong's title song. This is followed by a hidden track of a hilariously twisted crank call to Apple computer's customer support line. All in all, Killer Lifestyle is a fine example of post-apocalyptic science fiction rock you can dance to at a price you can afford.
- Austin Chronicle

"Bubble City album review"

Pong: "Bubble City"

Two years and a reported $20,000 later, "Bubble City" is a giant leap forward for these Austin scene vets, overflowing with disco drums, mirror-ball grooves and weird harmonies. (It's not a party until someone breaks out the Vocoder and shouts out H.E.B.) Guitarist Gary Chester's style has finally morphed from the noise chunks he was slinging in Ed Hall into something smooth, clear and — no kidding — funky. But are the two songs that sound an awful lot like indie faves Interpol a jape or a tribute? Probably both.
— Joe Gross - XLent

"Bubble City record release"

Somewhere in the great beyond, Zapp's Roger Troutman and Foghat's Lonsome Dave Peverett are probably grooving on the green couch to their unlikely progeny manifested in earthly form by Pong's fab new CD, Bubble City. More of an expansion of 2001's Killer Lifestyle than a departure, the Austin quintet's second LP updates their patent-pending brand of butt-rockin' retro-futurism with sleek production, irresistible hooks, and plenty of vocoder. With no label support, it took Pong two years and $20,000, raised in piecemeal gig-to-gig fashion, to bring Bubble City to the finish line. Subsequently, they've never sounded better.
"If you're always worrying about money, then the sound is going to suffer," says Bassist Larry Strub. "We just decided we were going to do it until we liked it."
The band started recording with Josh Case, who initially came into the fray as bassist for Pong's precursor band, Gold. Then they recruited veteran Austin producer/engineer Stewart Sullivan for mixing and L.A.'s Joe Gastwirt (Talking Heads, Brian Wilson) for mastering.
"When we went into the studio, we wanted to make our real sound more real," offers drummer Lyman Hardy. "You don't just get that by sticking a mic up to an amp. You need to make it sound hyperreal."
Hyperreal is an apt description of the hard rock space boogie of "Interpol" and the 21st-century-by-way-of-1971 clap-along anthem, "Finally." While Pong's shows always bring the dancers up front, Bubble City bottles that vibe for home use and reveals all sorts of intriguing sonic baubles lurking just beneath the foundation. Strub cryptically promises Pong will be "revamping their psychedelia" for Saturday's CD release show, so be careful who you drink after.
-Greg Beets
- Austin Chronicle


Killer Lifestyle, 2001, Woodeye Records.
Bubble City, 2005, Realistic Records.
Tracks from Bubble City available @Pongsongs.com



Pong extends from the long and loud history of Ed Hall, one of Austin's most popular post-punk bands. That band called it quits in 1996, but Pong takes the core trio of guitarist Gary Chester, bass player Larry Strub and drummer Lyman Hardy adds keyboard player Shane Shelton and guitarist Jason Craig from such other Austin faves as the Pocket FishRmen and Moist Fist. This makes Pong an Austin indie-rock scene supergroup of sorts, but the hybrid band quickly developed its own distinct identity by splicing the punk rock power of Ed Hall with touches of hip-hop, metal, electronic and experimental music and even some pop harmonies. Pong’s latest release, Bubble City, displays a “giant leap forward for these Austin scene vets, overflowing with disco drums, mirror-ball grooves and weird harmonies,” observes the Austin American-Statesman.