Written By: Victor Alfieri
When I was in my teens, I was at a family reunion. All the men in my family drank scotch, and I wanted to be just like them. So I walked up to the make-shift bar and poured myself a drink while they all watched. My mother tried to stop me, but they said “Never mind the illegality of it. If he wants to be a man, let him be a man.”
They obviously knew something I didn’t. Like most teens, I had tasted my fair share of various types of alcohol. But at that time we always thought of anything besides beer as a shot.
So here I am, trying to be a man in front of the extended family. I grab my drink, slam it back…feel the burning down my throat…the liquid hits the trampoline in my stomach…and comes back with a vengeance I will never forget. I managed to keep everything in, but had the burning sensation and taste of vomit in my mouth for the rest of the day. The entire family laughed incessantly as my grandfather patted me on the back.
“Young man,” he said. “Scotch is an acquired taste; one that should be savored and not thrown down like you’re trying to get rid of it.” He swirled his glass, he always drank his on the rocks, took a sip and smiled.
Like scotch, Ponytail is an acquired taste. And like scotch, I have tried to acquire that taste, but jut can’t quite get there. The band, consisting of two guitarists, a drummer and a female…hmm, singer doesn’t quite describe it…vocalist, pump out some pounding tunes with catchy riffs and impressive ability. It is the vocals that truly turn me off here. Molly Siegel’s yelping, screaming, howling and just plain gibberish at times make sense, but at others completely distract me from what is going on here. Imagine Bjork or Yoko Ono on steroids. My apologies to Bjork or Yoko fans, but I never got the first and still blame the second for breaking up the best writing duo ever.
Out of Baltimore, Maryland, Ponytail consists of Siegel, Ken Seeno (guitar), Dustin Wong (guitar) & Jeremy Hyman (drums). “Ice Cream Spiritual” is the second release for this quartet that met at an art class. The Baltimore City Paper named them the “Best Live Band” in September 2007 and “Best Band in ’08. The show will bring a new life to the music that a recording just can’t justify.
While this music would probably be best described as punk, the main difference between this band and the genre is that these people are happy. You can tell they are having a great time doing what they are doing. Several tracks, like “Beg Waves,” have infectious guitar riffs. The kind you find yourself humming days later. Other tracks are just too distracting with the dying cat-like mewling. “G Shock” sounds like what surf rockers would come up with on a roller coaster ride of an acid trip.
While I’m sure it would be a lot of fun to go see a live show, some bands just don’t translate the success in a studio setting.