Ponytail Kamehameha

Sometimes all it takes is the slightest twist on something familiar to make or break music; an off-timed drum fill, wonky lo-fi keyboards or a singer’s unconventional performance can always have a powerful effect on the listener. In the case of Baltimore, MD’s Ponytail it’s the shrieking banshee call of vocalist Molly Siegel that sets this band apart from essentially any other out there. The result of four art school students combining their outside-of-the-box ambition, Kamehameha is a beseeching listen that numbs your senses silly with its modestly harmonious cacophony. Siegel’s nonsensical wordplay (from what I can decipher it’s literally absent from any dictionary) forms in screeching cries and high-pitched non-singing to produce one of the most unique vocal performances I’ve heard in a while. Miked from a distance, it’s wisely treated as just another instrument, a move that otherwise could have resulted in extreme aggravation had it been in the forefront of the mix. The dual guitar plus drums set-up that lead Siegel is surprisingly straight for such passionate art rock, but it’s the tempos at which they play that give them an edge. Primarily at a breakneck hustle with the discipline to sneak in awe-inspiring stop-start transitions, they obliterate their chords and leave your tongue wagging like Deerhoof on speedballs. Packaged in a custom design job that shows how artistically inclined the band and label are, Kamehameha is a leftfield diamond in the rough that deserves to be hunted down and adored. (Creative Capitalism)