Ponytail Ice Cream Spiritual(We Are Free) Buy it from Insound
It seems Baltimore has become notable for producing bands that have a kick like sour-soother five-cent candies. Frenetic, boundlessly energetic marches from acts commonly listed alongside the name Dan Deacon. On an album where the cover has a Buddhist thaka superimposed with a handprint accented in crayon, you can imagine that Ice Cream Spiritual isn’t meant to accompany you as you sit with your legs crossed on a mountain peak. This is the band’s second album after their somewhat missed Kamehamena, and their pounce only proves to reinstill the style of the album’s predecessor.
As a four piece negating the standard bass in name of two guitars, Ponytail’s optimistic parade is finally getting the attention it deserves outside the internal proliferation of the Baltimore scene. More akin to their fellow Baltimorean’s Video Hippos or Ecstatic Sunshine than Deacon; Ponytail’s turbo fluster is compiled entirely with conventional instruments. Calling their ferocious concoctions energetic would almost be cutting them short; for their vivacity is a relentless, frenetic beast.
The sparkling pinwheel guitars run high on the fret board and carry like a perpetual solo, the drum flourishes cascade like Hella, and the erratic shrieks of vocalist Molly Siegel sound somewhere between a hyperactive parrot and a wild boar in heat. If Patti Smith defined raucous women’s vocals in the seventies, and Vanessa Brisco Hay of Pylon picked up her baton in the eighties, then maybe Molly Siegel can be noted for following through alongside Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof, here in 2008. This girl possesses one shrieky, mercurial, voice; indeed.
If only for their capability to consistenly sound improvisationally apt, Ponytail travel with an air that appears to embrace spontaneity over polish. Like punk with paint colours, they never fail at turning sharp corners with fluidity all over their candy covered mountain. If you’re traveling on anything with wheels, watch out; for carrying Ponytail is like carrying a mystery bag of rainbows on E, waiting to be unleashed.15 July, 2008 - 00:20 — Tara Campbell