The Place We Ran From
Mom + Pop Records 
Fire Note Says: Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody forms a supergroup.
Anytime the term "supergroup" is used, expectations always come along with the tag. For Tired Pony, this is no different, as core leading member and project director is Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody. He apparently wanted to follow some of his idols, like Wilco and Calexico and make a more Americana flavored record. For this task, he brought along Snow Patrolers Iain Archer and Troy Stewart, Belle & Sebastian drummer Richard Colburn, big time producer Jacknife Lee, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows). Not stopping there, The Place We Ran From also gets vocal support from Zooey Deschanel (She & Him) and Tom Smith (Editors) plus some guitar work from M. Ward. Clearly, Tired Pony brings tons of talent to the party but the record fails at accomplishing its task of truly creating a slice of Americana, as Lightbody just does not have the right tone to his voice to pull it off. It feels much more like a solo record for him, as even the more countrified instruments here are hidden in the background. Once you move by that issue, The Place We Ran From is not a bad record by any means, especially when you consider they recorded this thing over one week in Portland. Every track is not a winner but when Lightbody employs his smooth vocals on mid-tempo tracks like "Dead American Writers", the songs still have an instant likability. Tom Smith from the Editors also sort of steals the spotlight near the end of this album, as his baritone lead vocals on "The Good Book" actually does a better job of fitting into the Americana genre. My final take on this record is, that if you are a fan of Snow Patrol, then Tired Pony will be a perfect fit but I don't think the Wilco crowd will be jumping on board very soon because The Place We Ran From does not push the folk vibes hard enough.
Key Tracks: "Dead American Writers", "Point Me At Lost Islands", "The Good Book"
Bands With Similar Fire:
Death Cab For Cutie
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Mom + Pop Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony