Tired Pony don’t like to hang about. Having taken only ten days to record their debut offering in 2010, they took even less this time around. ‘The Ghost Of The Mountain’ was recorded in a mere nine days but it certainly doesn’t show, sounding a little more early days Snow Patrol than its predecessor, which, despite what you’re thinking, isn’t a negative.
2010’s ‘The Place We Ran From’ was well received by those in the media, but that was it really. Bar the die hard Lightbody fans and the odd R.E.M nostalgic, the album fell on deaf ears. Playing just the one live show doesn’t help either but for Buck and Lightbody, the band’s two main men, none of that matters. Tired Pony is for fun, it’s their ‘bit on the side’.
Setting the tone nicely is opener I Don’t Want You As A Ghost. It sees Lightbody yearning for a lost love, a somewhat comfortable topic for the Snow Patrol frontman. I’m Begging You Not To Go is a slightly more upbeat take on the same topic before the mood is taken up a few notches with the resplendently catchy Blood. Creak In The Floorboards – which could easily be mistaken for Springsteen’s Human Touch – and first single All Things All At Once round off an impressive opening hexad.
Beginning Of The End is the highlight of the record and gives the second half of the album a promising start with Lightbody and Iain Archer sharing vocal duties. Unfortunately that’s about as good as it gets for Tired Pony this time around. Carve Our Names and title track The Ghost Of The Mountain are mundane filler tracks which offer little to the piece as a whole. Punishment sends things in the right direction again but doesn’t come close to the heights of the first half of the album.
Tired Pony offers Lightbody the chance to successfully let off some creative steam but fans of Snow Patrol can’t help but wonder why he can’t apply the same relaxed and carefree attitude to his other band. The Ghost Of The Mountain and The Place We Ran From are both undeniably better than anything that Snow Patrol have produced since 2003’s Final Straw.