Pony Bravo are a quartet from Sevilla who made a huge splash in the Spanish and international rock scene in 2008 with their debut LP Si bajo de espalda no me da miedo (y otras historias). It was a record full of Jim-Morrison-style vocals and rhythms that lived in that weird universe where swing, flamenco, jazz, and folk rock intersect. Their proposal was new, dark, and tauntingly fun, which is why they made a few of Best of lists that year. We last heard from them in 2010, but now they’re back with a more polished sound in the recently released full-length, De Palmas y Cacería.
The record is a well-produced effort, featuring the band’s mixture of Afro beats, bluesy bass lines, flamenco guitars and vocals, and Latin psychedelia, among other styles. They’re all over the place in a good way, as they manage to take everything that’s great about these genres––the syncopated percussion, the deep vocals and psychedelic synths—and blend them to form the unique style that’s characterized them from the start. De Palmas y Cacería follows their well-established formula, but it gets better with time, as they manage to add other elements, like the humorous spoken word interventions on a couple of tracks.
It’s also a very political album, with songs like the rumba-tinged “El Político Neoliberal” and “Guajira de Hawaii,” which both criticize, in their own ways, the rampant corruption and political and social unrest in Spain. This makes for a fun record that doubles as a lesson in music history and the current state of affairs of, not just Spain, but pretty much the rest of the world.
You can get “De Palmas y Cacería” as a free download on the band’s label, El Rancho Records.