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Ponytail Ice Cream Spiritual Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Perhaps the best thing to do is simply grab this album, turn up the volume and enjoy a...

Sid Smith 2008

With their second album this quartet of precocious noise rockers from Baltimore offer another blurry snapshot of just about every major style that has influenced rock music since the year dot. The frenzied circular riffs and thumping, primitive percussives have thrillingly coarse angularities which remain razor-sharp even after repeated playing. Frenetic to the point of seizure, you have to wonder how they manage to do this sort of thing over the course of an hour long show. Just sitting and listening to the dense, compacted material here would be enough to get a sweat on for most of us.

Celebrate the Body Electric lasts seven minutes and doffs its cap in the direction of Zappa, drone-rock in general, and the left-behind grease from just about every garage band under the sun.

G-Shock opens with blizzard of serrated notes slamming hard against torrents of harsh snare. This already stormy mix is topped by vocalist Molly Siegal's yelps and squeals which sit somewhere between B-52s Kate Pierson's outré whoops and avant-garde era Yoko Ono. Add a measure of atonal Beefheartian shock and awe from guitarist Ken Seeno and you've got something that flickers strobe-like between the apparently mutually exclusive worlds of pop, rock and the experimental. The repeated windmilling guitar on 7 Souls acts like an accelerant to an already volatile mix, as ragged reverb and galloping riffs explode into chaos.

Late For School bucks the trend a little by opening with a reflective wash of faded-in, fuzzed up guitars. Siegal's wordless vocals provides a dissident mixture in what could otherwise pass as an out-take from Tales From Topographic Oceans! That progrock reference isn't as foolish as might at first appear. Anyone familiar with Mars Volta or last year's hit combo, Battles, will know that the musical genre that dare not speak its name is steadily being revisited, rehabilitated and reintegrated.

Never mind the cross-cultural referencing. Perhaps the best thing to do is simply grab this album, turn up the volume and enjoy a turbulent, freefall skydive into the wonderful, crazy, whizzed-up world of Ponytail.

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