Monday, July 4, 2011

Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual (2008)


For fans of: Animal Collective, Deerhoof, Hella

Listening to this is incredibly fun, and while the vocalist may not be the most "talented," the musicians are certainly adept, and the nonsense yelps and squeals are like the icing on the cake. It's full of complex rhythms and guitar breakdowns that make me think of bands like Hella or Battles, but it's the pure joy that they deliver that makes me want to come back for more. I could understand why this wouldn't be for everyone, but if you've got an adventurous spirit and don't mind a lack of song structure, this should be a treat to the ears, a candy-coated pineapple. - Matthew Foster

"The wild trill Molly Siegel lets loose at the beginning of "Beg Waves" lets listeners know that Ice Cream Spiritual! is unmistakably a Ponytail album, even if it's more neatly groomed than their debut was. Kamehameha introduced the band's highly concentrated, highly combustible noise-punk-pop in saturated outbursts; it sounded like someone threw a few mikes into the fray and then got out of the way of the band's blazing onslaughts. Ice Cream Spiritual! sounds much more produced and premeditated, and its songs are longer and maybe a touch more involved, but none of this halts Ponytail's sugar-buzz energy -- if anything, the album's clarity gives a better idea of just how big the band's sound can be than Kamehameha did. "Late for School"'s joyous guitar flurries and the noise-surf of "7 Souls" breeze by like lost songs from Ponytail's first album, but "G Shock" -- which features fancy fretwork that sounds like sped-up funk, massive drums, and Siegel's vocalizations (which sound a little like an avant-garde cheerleader cheering the rest of the band on to wilder and faster musical feats) -- swells up, explodes, and drifts away like a cloudburst. Ice Cream Spiritual!'s longer tracks push Ponytail closer to the expansive territory of bands like OOIOO, though Ponytail's music is still more rock-based. Once their songs pass the four-minute mark, their energy becomes hypnotic instead of spastic. "Celebrate the Body Electric" runs the spectrum of Ponytail's prettiest and noisiest sounds, but its shimmering guitars give it a desert rock trippiness; "Die Allman Bruder" channels, yes, the Allman Brothers via Sonic Youth and Deerhoof. At times, the album's extended jams get a bit wearing, but Ice Cream Spiritual! shows that Ponytail's music is still equal parts challenging, melodic, and fun." - AMG

1 comment:

  1. I think this band could grow on me over time.

    If you're interested, I'd be willing to let you throw this album up on your blog. It definitely fits the Island-of-Misfit-Toys mold IMO.