Ponytail: Live Last Night
There's no real middle ground when it comes to Ponytail. You're either going to think the Baltimore quartet is the absolute worst thing since Somali pirates or one of the most uniquely entertaining bands around. It all depends on your tolerance for schizophrenic, slashing art-punk songs that stop on a dime before charging down another hyperactive path.
But it really depends on your tolerance for singer Molly Siegel's vocals. To call her a singer wouldn't be entirely accurate. She's a shrieker, a chanter, a yelper. She doesn't use words, she uses sounds. Sounds like, "Hiiiii-eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!" And she does it all while bouncing around the stage as if in some deep trance, her eyes rolling back in her head as her face contorts into some combination of that dude from "Office Space"'s O-Face and the Keystone bitter beer face. It's not something you need to hear every night, but for 40 minutes at DC9 on Thursday it was quite a rush.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
Siegel may be the focal point of the band, but it's the nimble-fingered exploits of guitarists Dustin Wong and Ken Seeno and drummer Jeremy Hyman's equally agile playing that kept the club in a state of near-constant chaos. Sometimes the members of an audience come to a show ready to act like animals. You can tell right away, if there's mayhem from the first song. That wasn't the case on Thursday, as everyone stood relatively still for the first 10 minutes as Ponytail worked its way through some less frantic material, including a spacey, almost-dub opener that recalled Public Image.
But once Wong and Seeno started trading their hyperspeed solos, Hyman let loose on his kit and Siegel entered banshee territory, the band's energy became infectious. Soon people were leaping into each other, there were multiple crowdsurfers and someone in a three-piece suit climbed the rafters above the stage and proceeded to do a monkeyflip to the floor. And that's exactly the right response to the band's tunes. Unless, of course, it sends you running for exits.
By David Malitz |
April 24, 2009; 4:29 PM ET
Live Last Night
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