Do Whatever You Want All the Time

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Despite the freewheeling title, Do Whatever You Want All the Time is Ponytail's most controlled outburst. The band went on hiatus shortly after touring in support of its second album, the mighty Ice Cream Spiritual!, and its members pursued other projects ranging from guitarist Dustin Wong's solo album to drummer Jeremy Hyman's stint with the Boredoms and singer Molly Siegel's self-discovery, but they reunited after less than a year apart. The band's time off may have been brief, but during that time Ponytail's sound matured considerably. On Do Whatever You Want All the Time, they sound tighter and more focused than ever before, tracing cleanly defined arcs on “Tush” and “Music Tunes” and making complex counterpoint and tempo shifts sound effortless on “Flabbermouse.” However, the same energy and mischief still fuel the band, particularly on the album opener, “Easy Peasy,” where Siegel insists that they’re “running out of time” between whoops, even though the song cuts a nearly six-minute swath. Elsewhere, Siegel is used as another texture instead of the main attraction: “Beyondersville/Flight of Fancy” processes her vocals into something more humanoid than human as Hyman's drums take center stage. And while there are plenty of freak-outs like “AwayWay,” this is also some of Ponytail's prettiest music yet, with the Afro-pop-inspired melody and trilling guitars of "Honey Touches" underscoring that melodies are just as important to the band’s sound as volume and dynamics. Paradoxical as it may seem, the more structured version of the band that Do Whatever You Want All the Time presents just may be more exciting, and offer more potential, than what Ponytail were doing before.

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