You know what’s cooler than discovering a great new band? Discovering that the great new band is actually one of your favorite old bands in disguise, reunited after a ten year hiatus. Last week, a band called Hot Little Pony landed on my radar, with an awesome(ly ridiculous) cover of Pony by Ginuwine. Hailing from “Michael, Jordan,” they had announced a “world tour,” beginning October 15th in Pomona, and ending October 16th at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.
You might recognize the voice leading the track, as it belongs to Jonah Matranga, also known as Onelinedrawing, a frequent co-conspirator and close friend of The Deftones’ Chino Moreno. You’ve probably heard his voice on The Deftones’ No Ordinary Love cover, or the acoustic version of Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away). Or maybe you’ve heard him on the Thursday song War All The Time, or Tweaker’s Swamp. He’s also contributed vocals to a couple Fort Minor tracks, and Lupe Fiasco’s song The Instrumental, from the Madden ’07 soundtrack.
He’s been around, but not like he was in the good ol’ days… the days of the band called Far. Sounding like a cross between The Deftones and Helmet, Far was one of the best bands in the early to mid 90s alt metal scene, but they never quite broke through to the audience they deserved to have. They put out four albums from 1992 to 1998, and then broke up in 1999, right around the time I finally discovered them.
When word started getting around that Hot Little Pony was actually Far- not a new band, but Far, reunited, performing Far songs- you bet your sweet ass Antiquiet scored some tickets to the sold out Troubadour show, and made a fake press pass when we couldn’t reach a manager or publicist. As I said a little while back, in Los Angeles, once in a lifetime concert opportunities are handed out like candy corn, and we once again found ourselves in the right place at the right time.
I had already been planning on writing up a retro review on Far’s last album, Water & Solutions, because the songs still hold up ten years later. Most of last night’s set came from that one, and the band, showing absolutely no signs of adult fatigue, generally stuck to the heavy stuff, as the crowd thrashed about with an enthusiasm few of today’s rock and roll bands manage to inspire. I squirmed my way through it to get these shots for you, and I haven’t seen the Troubadour in such a state since Helmet returned from a long hiatus to do two shows there in October of 2005. Far may not have shared Helmet’s level of success in 1998, but you wouldn’t know it putting the two bands side by side in 2008. And that, of course, is not intended as a criticism of Helmet, whose longevity is undiminished. As much as I love Water & Solutions, the energy was doubled in the live performances of the songs.
The other day, Far launched a new website, confirming the rumors of the Hot Little Pony shell game, and announcing additional shows in the UK next month. A statement in the news section supports rumors of a full-fledged reunion; The band says they’re having fun playing the songs and hanging out again, and that if the excitement stays present, so will Far. We hope this music connects to you the way it does to us, as we fan the newly rekindled flame.