Make Love to the Judges with Your Eyes
The legend of Pony Up goes like this: in spring 2003, the girls attended a show by Australian wunderkind Ben Lee, who was visiting Montreal for the first time and who had been robbed earlier that day. They took him out after the show, took him shopping the next day and sent him off with their demo in hand. A few months later he’d started his own label, Ten Fingers, in association with Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak, and put out their debut EP. It was pretty green, shrieking and not that great, save a touching tribute to underappreciated actor Matthew Modine (“Oh Matthew Modine/we want to be your blow job queens”). What a difference time and practice make! The debut long-player Make Love to the Judges with Your Eyes is a pleasant surprise, an album of mature melancholy and great hooks. The often poppy guitars and keyboards belie the sexy, observant, self-loathing lyrics, like on “The Best Offence”: “My self-respect means more to me than you do” (yes!) / “Or at least it used to” (crap). Vocal duties are split between Laura Wills and Sarah Moundroukas; the latter packs a more emotional punch, especially on the closer “Lines Bleed,” a clashing power outro that finds her begging her man not to leave, unless it’s on a Wednesday. Don’t be fooled by the sassy sense of fun—this is sad bastard music in delicious disguise.