Arguments over what's punk and whether garage should be a thing ignore one crucial distinction: If you can't dance to it, it's jazz. In the 15 minutes that constitute sides A and B of their self-titled EP, Pony Time veer from New Wave to pop punk to riff rock and even disco, but the head never stops bobbing. On each track, the Seattle two-piece preserves the driving beat that separates the combos from the bands, and it pays off. Pony Time is a six-track EP with six good songs.
It helps that we are living in a golden age of reverb. Luke Beetham's whiny vocals come drenched in it, echoing around in a satisfyingly ethereal complement to the muscular rhythms. When Pony Time sounds lumbering or jerky, these reverberations pull it all back to jaunty, Roadrunner-era pop. They should sound great in the shrieking glass chamber that is Zoo City Apparel. Pony Time is the right band to see there: jump-up-and-down music played with run-in-a-circle intensity. Catch them in the kind of sweaty little show that you can brag about later, after they are too big for the room.
Pony Time plays Zoo City Apparel Thursday, June 14, at 8 PM, with Sharkpact, Stickers and Skin Flowers. $5.