Local Wire

The Ponys

Some say The Ponys were too late to the garage rock revival -- another me-too gang of half-Strokes, half-Hives hipsters -- but anyone who caught the Chicago band in concert last year knows what the real problem was. Lead singer Jered Gummere had a terrible habit of squealing in falsetto after every fourth syllable, and it was enough to make you rush the stage and smack him a bit. Luckily, it sounds like someone did just that on the new album Celebration Castle, out this week, where his singing has finally improved and the band now sounds like it owns the garage genre rather than just copies it. Catch the quickly improving rockers Sunday at Mardi Gras, and if Gummere's singing gets out of hand, well, you know what to do.