Mild-mannered ‘supergroup’ Tired Pony emerged as a countrified project for Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody, along with REM guitarist Peter Buck and bandmates including producer Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee and Belle & Sebastian drummer Richard Colburn. While their 2010 debut The Place We Ran From was a speedy endeavour, it sounds like they’ve relaxed into the Americana trail on follow-up The Ghost Of The Mountain.
Certain notes recur. Lightbody’s plaintive vocals still relate lovelorn, angsty sentiments over easy-going grooves and while their debut featured a cameo from US actress/singer Zooey Deschanel, guest vocalists here include Minnie Driver.
The solid songcraft never canters out of the comfort zone for these talented players but numbers such as the electro-roots of I Don’t Want You As A Ghost, the gospel-tinged Blood and the tremulous Ravens And Wolves are well arranged. It’s earnest stuff that’s easy to warm to.
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