Release Date: Jun 17, 2008
Record label: We Are Free
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
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.
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.
PONYTAIL Ice Cream Spiritual (We Are Free) Rating: NNN Ice Cream Spiritual... or ice cream headache? It's hard to decide what the Baltimore four-piece had planned for their second album, a clattering eight-song odyssey into garage rock. The chaos largely ensues from singer Molly Siegel's non-traditional vocals (essentially a series of shrieks, coos, howls and whinnies), while the rest of the band (two guitarists and a drummer, no bass) churn out stop-start tempos that swoop and hurtle, rarely coming to rest.