The title of the Ponys' debut, Laced with Romance
, is as accurate as that Spears girl is chaste. With lines like "I only love ya 'cause you, 'cause you look like me,"
the band is like that disheveled boyfriend who drinks too much at parties and never says he loves you, but the guy all the sober, boring boys secretly want to be and all the practical girls secretly want to neck with. This allure is what singer Jered Gummere fully understands when he inflects his croons with the sounds of Television and the Stones; it's what his bandmates strive for when they riff like Reed and pound like Ringo. So giddyup, youth of America: Parties like this one are too good to pass up. -- Abigail Clouseau