You never quite know what to expect with local hard rockers Ponyboy. One minute they’re baring their sensitive soul through their lyrics, then suddenly they’re painting disturbing images in your head. Yes, there’s always an element of surprise with the self-proclaimed “art-fag grunge rockers.” But if there’s one thing that you can expect out of the band, it’s pushing limits.
Frontman Charles McVey is the main offender in this grungy group. The man is an expert in raw emotion, and knows far too well what it means to face a troubled relationship. During his time in the Kansas music community, he has become a voice for the angry gay man. Just recently, Ponyboy helped record music for “Sexing the Trans Man,” an adult film directed by trans porn star and activist Buck Angel. It wasn’t just an opportunity to score a film, it was also a chance to help advocate in the transexual community.
Since then, the two-piece has had a lot of time to focus on their latest album, “Pussy Killer.” The record focuses on the case of “Candian Cannibal” Luka Magnotta, and the impact it had on crime in our culture. As always, McVey is an artist first, insisting that the album is an attempt to create a dialogue about “the sensationalism of violence and a man’s desire for fame at any cost.” McVey doesn’t go easy on the public, with lyrics like “Fuck yeah, that’s entertainment / You suck it up like a sick sad animal” from the synth-heavy track Death in the Family (which features several audio clips from news coverage about the murder). Luka explores the point of view of the murder suspect’s fans with lines like “You’re a revolutionary / It’s like I’ve found someone who feels like I feel.” The album’s title track is a lengthy listen reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. Even longer is the closing song on the album, 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, which clocks in at just under 11 minutes. It’s a dark, dismal, and hopeless critique on society.
The album comes accompanied by a gruesome music for video for Luka, which gives a visually disturbing look into the mind of a possible future killer. “I watched many documentaries online about serial killers, and a common theme among them was fantasy and role play prior to actually committing a murder,” says McVey. “The protagonist of the Luka video is making a video for Magnotta by committing a similar crime– like a tribute. But much of the video is his fantasy about murder.”
But McVey says he hopes his use of violent imagery won’t be misread. “Much of the record is intended to be social commentary about the commercialization of violence being the main motive for this crime,” says McVey. “I believe that a remake of the film is in the upmost of bad taste. It’s intended to be social satire, however, I imagine some will misread my intentions.”
See what all the fuss is about at Ponyboy’s CD Release party with Ask An Adult on Tuesday, July 24th, at the Replay.