Army Of Ponch - So Many You Could Never Win (Cover Artwork)

Army Of Ponch

Army Of Ponch: So Many You Could Never WinSo Many You Could Never Win (2002)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: MorphineSandwichMorphineSandwich
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I first came across the sounds of Army of Ponch at a little all-punk/hardcore/emo record store in Providence (Contrast Records, if you're in the area, it's a great place). This record was playing over the speakers while I was shopping and it just jumped out at me. I picked it up and... wow. I'm impr.

I first came across the sounds of Army of Ponch at a little all-punk/hardcore/emo record store in Providence (Contrast Records, if you're in the area, it's a great place). This record was playing over the speakers while I was shopping and it just jumped out at me. I picked it up and... wow. I'm impressed.

The one mention of AoP on this site that I've seen was a show review, in which AoP opened. The reviewer said they were good, but described them as "No Idea Records screamo" which is a classification I really don't see. They do borrow quite a bit from Hot Water Music/Small Brown Bike and the other descendant bands, in vocal styles and even some song progressions, but these are both traits of old emo.

Yes, this is an emo album (I like emo) in the vein of Hoover or Indian Summer's more intense stuff, with a lot of the edge that Small Brown Bike is known for. Ponch has the classic emo dual-guitar dual-vocalist setup, and when used properly, as in track 3, "Foil Monkeys or Bread Monkeys Either One" and track 10 "I Spilled Another Drink In My Mouth", the results are beautiful.

As with any emo record, there is a focus to the progression of the songs, and in many, the progression is in the full-on intensity and explosion of the two guitars crashing in, sometimes making the sweeter-sounding of the two vocalists sound as though the music were collapsing in upon him. It really does achieve the catharsis that it aims for.

Well, most of the time, it does. The first track is all screaming and crashing, with little left to the imagination, and, at first hearing it, was kind of a turn-off. It's certainly not my favorite track, but it holds its own. Track 7, "America's #1 Snackcake", sounds like an Indian Summer cover. I mean it sounds virtually identical to Indian Summer's "Untitled" combined with their "Just Because...".

Minus these few annoyances, I think that Army of Ponch's first record (it's at least their first No Idea record, their website is down at the moment, so I can't check about prior releases) is a serious winner, and if there is seriously the 1992-era emo revival going on that I think there is, AoP is in line to be a headliner.

Oh yeah, all that, and they included a funny nosedrawing under the spot where the CD goes in the case (I don't know if that space has a name). They tell you to go to NoseDrawing.com for your own nosedrawing, but it's not working on my computer. Check it out.

I'd recommend this if you like: Small Brown Bike, Heroin, Indian Summer, Still Life


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
withoutbellson (July 15, 2010)

cool band, good review.

Anonymous (January 12, 2006)

Loose lips sink ships but ink stains speak in tongues and block out the feeback is beautiful

Anonymous (January 17, 2004)

is it just me, or is that cover art waxing Drive Like Jehu first album?


Anonymous (October 9, 2003)

sucks theyre not dead.

NoUse (October 8, 2003)

Sucks they didn't make it to Cincinnati because of their van...

Anonymous (October 7, 2003)

"as soon as you said emo, i stopped reading."

why? emo is for pussies right? blah blah blah.

i think people need to learn that emo was/is an extension of hardcore and not the whiney indie rock it so often gets mislabeled.

so yeah, get your shit straight kids, and stop slagging things you have no real understanding of. bands like heroin will rip your face off.

jheisel (October 6, 2003)

good band, good people, good bowlers.

REALPUNX4LIFE (October 4, 2003)

Someone below said they're seeing them in a few days. Check No Idea's website. You might be in for a rude awakening.

And I quote:

"The rest of the Army of Ponch tour is in limbo due to a hopelessly broken van. We'll keep you updated!"

Anonymous (October 4, 2003)

I had never heard of these guys until I saw them open for Against Me!I was blown away and I immediatly bought this cd.This band must be seen live to appreciated...hopefully in a packed basement.


8dollarclarinetsolo (October 4, 2003)

"as soon as you said emo, i stopped reading."

and took the time to make a comment

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

Where do you go to school?

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

this is where labels bother me. you say emo and everyone assumes it's a band like saves the day or whoever else. that is rather sad.


Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

as soon as you said emo, i stopped reading.

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

I video'd a show they played here with some local bands (i think it was my fifth time seeing them, second as a three piece) and as a three piece they are fantastic. i just miss those old hurts.

-patrick stinnett

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

awesome band, seeing them in a few days!

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

i like army of ponch and erik estrada. a winning combination.


inagreendase (October 3, 2003)

Yeah, the site's not working here either. So Contrast Records, huh?...I'll have to check it out. Heh, "catharsis."

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

emo? no way.

And the other guitarist, the one that did all the cool singing parts left the band a couple months ago.

-bryan syles

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