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Ponytail: Do Whatever You Want All The Time

B-

Ponytail

Album: Do Whatever You Want All The Time
Label: We Are Free

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For a band that’s been hinting at and then denying its breakup over the past few months, Ponytail is still racing along—or so its third album, Do Whatever You Want All The Time, would indicate. Grown from the stem cells of its predecessor, 2008’s giddily precocious Ice Cream Spiritual, the new disc flits between art-punk sugar-buzz and hyperactive ambience. But the cracks are starting to show in the band’s previously impervious candy shell. Do Whatever is far less dense and frantic than Ice Cream, and conjoined guitarists Dustin Wong and Jeremy Hyman don’t operate in open space as well as when they’re forced to dodge their own obstacles. The glitchy, empty “Beyondersville/Flight Of Fancy” is a six-minute placeholder that would fit better on one of Wong’s more abstract solo albums for Thrill Jockey; on “Tush,” chirpy singer Molly Siegel sounds less like Yoko Ono’s understudy and more like a no-show, seeing as how most of her vocals on the song are clipped and sampled. But tracks like “AwayWay” distill everything Ponytail is about—and that bratty-Battles joyousness helps carry Do Whatever across the finish line.