June 8, 2011

PONYTAIL - "Do What You Whatever You Want All The Time" (We Are Free)

  A few days ago, I listened to this from front to back...three times in a row.I was painting the doors in my house, and now all I wanna do is paint and listen to Ponytail all day long.Do What You Want All The Time, is the name of this thrilling new full length, and the title couldn't be more appropriate.Their message is painfully clear from the very first note to the very last.If you are familiar with this band's unique style of avant-prog-pop, then you have some idea as to what your in for, but not completely.Since 2008's wildly awesome Ice Cream Spiritual LP, this Baltimore four piece has seriously upped their game on all fronts.The songwriting and instrumentation is virtually flawless, and it's almost as if they've created a entirely new musical language, communicating with one other without ever speaking, but through the use of their instruments.Experiencing these four do their thing in a live setting is quite magical, and would lead you to believe that there's a direct link between each of their brains, and "wild chemistry" hardly describes this intense connection between them.
  Do What You Want...takes the raw and immediate energy of their live show, and couples it with the flawless execution they bring to the studio.Everything is in it's place, and yet feels completely displaced and estranged.Axe men Dustin Wong and Ken Seeno provide an air-tight and incomparable guitar attack, bobbing and weaving in and out of each other's notes, creating rich textures and playful melodies.Fans of Deerhoof will definitely find something to obsess over in their unique style, which somehow sounds identical, and yet you can still point out who's playing what at any given time.Singer Molly Siegel has extended her future-tribe vocabulary, and yelps, squeaks, and howls in a made up fantasy language.Her voice has recently found it's way to a more melodic and joyous place, kindly accenting certain parts of songs or parts, rather than providing a storyline.There is no lead singer in Ponytail, but more of a lead noisemaker", and Siegel's stage acrobatics and wild energy, have become their trademark, on stage and on record.
  The standout track for me is "Honey Touches", it's pretty straight forward as far as rhythm and timing go, but it makes several wild turns along the way, running through a handful of different modes and key changes.The jangly guitar chords that fill it's beginning are so far off from it's big finish.Siegel mutters the word "en-er-gy" right before things get weird.Waves of sharp and breezy calypso guitar scales wash over some highly danceable drum patterns, with shifting tempos and cool prog-rock freak outs.This album is full of this kind of unexpected goodness, but this song somehow embodies most of what you'll run into, and that's a lot.This may very well be the feel good hit of the summer.Give it a listen.

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