Things That Used To Shine
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Wild Ponies began life as a much simpler, more stripped down musical outfit. Songwriters Doug and Telisha Williams had previously only performed as an acoustic duo, called simply Doug and Telisha, but as the seeds of their stylistic approach began to grow and blossom, they took on new life as Wild Ponies, a much more fully fleshed-out country-folk band with even more shades of darkness. Things That Used To Shine, the group’s debut, covers a diverse array of stylistic ground, all of which stems from a long country & western tradition. The album begins with a slow, lascivious torch song titled “Make You Mine,” in which Telisha gets right down to some primal, carnal instincts: “I don’t want to meet your family/ I don’t want to meet your friends/ I just want you wrapped around me.” It’s just the first stop on a journey through human weakness and emotional vulnerability, which also includes an upbeat murder tale in “Trigger” and a personal tale of an abusive stepfather on “The Truth Is.” There’s a lot of heartbreaking material on Things That Used To Shine, and though the band has lots of room for musical growth, Wild Ponies have nothing but potential at this point.