It’s nice when one great band leads you to another. The internet makes finding good bands both so easy and incredibly difficult, because there’s tons of stuff widely available now, but there’s also TONS of STUFF widely available now. Finding Pond was pretty easy for me, though. I absolutely loved Tame Impala‘s 2010 release, Innerspeaker (my far-and-away fave of that year), and earlier this year noticed some Facebook posts or something like that about another band named Pond. The bands share three members and have a similar psychedelic rock vibe, and I absolutely can’t get enough of either of them.
There’s something in the water in Perth, Australia. Or maybe it’s the sun and air. I’m not really sure, but that city lays claim to some stellar psychedelic talent. Pond got started there in the summer of 2008 when Nick Allbrook (“Paisley Adams”), Jay Watson (“Wirey B. Buddah”), and Joseph Ryan (“Orion McJam”) started making music together. It seems like they had a friendship based on similar musical tastes and a common yearning for spacey guitar sounds and quasi-philosophical and imagistic lyrics. (I bet drugs were involved, too—whence the nicknames—but that’s neither here nor there.) They’ve since cultivated those original musical seeds into some seriously jammy rock songs, with four LPs to their name. Meanwhile, these dudes lived with a fellow by the name of Kevin Parker (“Kaykay Sorbet”) who drums with the band live and has concurrently worked on his own quasi-solo project of Tame Impala. (He writes the songs and played almost all of the recorded instruments on Innerspeaker, but the guys from Pond play with him live.) These guys are also involved in some other Perth-area projects, including Mink Mussel Creek and The Silents, who are all nicely represented by the Spinning Top agency. Yeah, there’s something about Perth. I gotta visit.
The music of Pond is aptly described by the term “psychedelic rock”. With the title of their latest release, Beard, Wives, Denim, and the corresponding album art, and song titles like “Fantastic Explosion of Time” and “Sorry I Was Under The Sky” you kinda get the picture already, and you might even fear that this is just mamby-pamby spacey shit with no real focus and is just some stoners noodling and wanking with fuzz pedals. Far from it, my friends. There are some heady pop riffs on display here, some catchy riffs that’ll worm their way into your head and refuse to leave. (The entirety of the opening track does that to me.) Some of them are on the heavier, guitar-rich side—like “Leisure Pony”—and some border on quieter, harmonizing numbers—like “Sun and Sea and You” and “You Broke My Cool”—but even on those songs, the band can’t help but build up to, and subsequently launch into, a heavy guitar squall of overwhelmingly melodious noise. They also get kinda Prince-style funky on “Moth Wings”, which actually kinda made me laugh out loud when I first heard it, but now I “get” it. (The band’s bio actually apologizes for their third album by saying, “Then I’m afraid to say we got too into Prince and the Mac, so we accidently made Frond.”) Mostly, though, these guys are having fun playing some mind-blowing rock tunes, and I can dig that.
Pond / “You Broke My Cool” / Beard, Wives, Denim [Modular, 2012]
Lately, I’ve been listening to Beard, Wives, Denim while strolling around in the sunlight and while working at home late into the night, and the album works for both of those situations. I can also see this being great road trip tuneage, or music for … uhh, hanging out. I’ve only heard a few random tracks from the rest of the band’s catalog, but I will definitely be tracking those albums down and checking them out, especially with names like Corridors of Blissterday and Psychedelic Mango. Hell yeah. So get out there and listen to some Pond! But don’t confuse them with the Sub Pop-signed 90s grunge band of the same name.
Filed under: New to Us, New to You?