Zahnarzt – Mini Pony

Mini Pony

Mini Pony. Wow. Where do I start? How can I keep the words to describe this…this malfunctioning calculator of an album cohesive when the music that lies within is certainly not. It’s the sound of 80’s fashion being crammed in a garbage disposal with an 808. It’s a soundtrack to Tron had it been directed by Nicolas Roeg. It’s really like nothing I’ve heard before and I don’t think I’m prepared for what it takes to fully experience it. Like cocaine. Lots and lots of cocaine.

This is the first full length from Zahnarzt, a 4 piece from all places, Albany, NY. What they’ve managed to accomplish is to create an album that sounds like so many electrical eclectic styles it’s amazing they can fit into one album. Often within the same song styles will change, from deconstructing a trance beat to infusing it with the smallest slices of garage, then channeling it through some cheesy synths. Nothing repeats, rather it can’t repeat since whatever happened in the previous verse was eaten up by the chorus. Musically it’s impressive; chaotic, ambient, beautiful, nerve racking, all at once.

What’s the problem then? There’s always a problem, right? Well it’s the singing. In a screech, like a constipated David Bowie, the singing detracts from every song. With enough practice you may be able to tune it out or treat it as just another instruments, albeit one that isn‘t necessary. But a song like “Esther” loses it’s beauty when that warble comes in, ruining the otherwise sublime melody. Lyrics, another problem. To match the sci-fi beats the topics venture into some sort of post apocalyptic scenarios and unfortunately new words such as “cuntfess” are created. And there’s plenty more where that came from. Ugh. What’s worse is you really can’t understand what is being said due to the caterwauling so you need a lyric sheet, thankfully not reprinted. You’ll have to go to their confusing website for that. But hey, they didn’t include any cocaine either.

Scrap the singing and you’ve got a great work, something similar to Fuck Buttons’ marring of noise and beauty but with a little 80’s vintage twist. Keep the vocals and you have a missed opportunity for something great.