Viva Dead Ponies

Behind-the-scenes drama: Writer asks to review album. Editor says, ”Why? Convince me.” Writer, uncomfortable as publicist-by-default, pauses, says, ”Because it is very good. Because it is the new group fronted by Irish singer-songwriter Cathal Coughlan, from the obscure but also very good band Microdisney. Because they are horrified by the world’s injustices, and in retaliation pen deliberately outrageous lyrics like ‘Hey — let’s all kill some cops’ and instrumentals with titles like ‘More Smack, Vicar.’ Because, given all this, they never descend into tastelessness for its own sake. Because for all its intentional abrasiveness, Viva Dead Ponies is also an immensely tuneful, sonic smorgasbord of shrieking guitar, soothing melodies, and short, snappy synthesizer snippets. Because it is an embarrassingly rich collection of 20 songs that — with its cast of characters, including Nicolae Ceausescu and Jesus Christ, its claims that ‘God is an arms dealer,’ and its scattered talk of Islamic law and tandoori ovens — shows a grasp of world politics and irony clearly beyond that of most any other band.” The writer pauses again, catches breath, then wheels out the line even a publicist would think twice about using: ”Because famed U.K. singer Morrissey has sung this album’s praises to high heaven.” Editor, shamed at the depths to which Writer has fallen, plays album and makes his own judgment. ”I have listened to the CD,” says Editor’s memo wisely, ”and I will never doubt you again.” A

Viva Dead Ponies
  • Music