In Brief

Ass Ponys, "Electric Rock Music," A&M; (***). This Cincinnati quartet rambles through a craggy stretch of rock, cranking out tunes as hummable as they are ornery. Several tracks take on a melancholy, R.E.M.-like lilt, while others are sprinkled with the same acid wash that steeps the Flaming Lips. Some are imbued with a bit of both, and a surreal humor holds it all together.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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