It is hard to escape the familiarity of Gary Lightbody‘s voice, but Tired Pony feels like more than his side project. The band members and the presence of companion-producer Jacknife Lee are just too impressive.
But calling their album The Place We Ran From a country album is not too satisfactory as well. Although it seems that Gary intended his songs, written while touring with Snow Patrol, to be so. Maybe little country songs, like comparing a pony to a horse.
However, the acoustic guitars, the slide guitars, a bit of violin and banjo are sufficient to distinguish most of the work from what we’ve generally known from mr. Lightbody in Snow Patrol-disguise. The small step from a reindeer (section) to a (tired) pony. And it does express a certain fascination with a romantic country side of the USA.
But at the same time there is undeniably a great similarity with Snow Patrol’s work in the overall production, and certainly the instrumentation and lyrics of part of the album. And Get On The Road very actively reminds me of Set The Fire To The Third Bar (a great compliment). Tom Smith’s voice then is so overwhelming and present that The Good Book could have been a native Editors song, certainly given Editors’ recent sound expansions (like the acoustic Raw Meat).