Did the Perth band deliver on their most recent installment of psychedelic absurdity?
Pond’s sixth official studio album ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ has been 45 minutes of psychedelic musical genius which my ears have reveled in several times since it’s release. An album branded by the band themselves as ‘slightly more sophisticated than the previous one’ (Hobo Rocket) blends fantastical galactic sounds with the excessive but adequate use of synthesizers and keyboards accompanied by Nick Albrook’s suitably erratic but lingering vocals to create an entirely psychedelic extravaganza.
The record takes the listener to a place far from where they are listening to it, something which is suitably fitting with the space theme. This can partly be down to the fact that the whole album seemingly morphs into one gigantic piece of music with how it’s been edited and the nature of the transition from song to song. It’s mood cannot be described singularly as songs like the first track ‘Waiting Around For Grace’, ‘Elvis’ Flaming Star’, ‘Zond’ and ‘Outside Is The Right Side’ characterize the record’s more upbeat, positive and fulfilling aspect although adversely, ‘Holding Out For You’, ‘Heroic Shart’, ‘Medicine Hat’ and ‘Sitting Upon Our Crane’ to an extent give the album it’s more melancholy, thought provoking and maybe even sincere tone. The nature of the melodies and Albrook’s vocals play a dominating part in this. Although, in songs like ‘Waiting Around For Grace’ and the last title track, the tone shifts at a certain point in the song, or even at several points, and this could even be described as a characteristic of Pond since it is exhibited in previous releases. In particular, the title track almost sounds like 2 or 3 different songs in one with the change in beats and melodies throughout which runs in accordance with the varying mood created by the 8 minute long track.
This release is sure to do wonders for the fan base of this Australian band with them already establishing a bit of a cult following particularly in the UK and the US because of their affiliations with perhaps the most popular and well-known current psych band, Tame Impala. Australian Psychedelia and this band particularly have had quite a significant effect on me and others I’m sure, and on our musical preferences particularly. This wonderfully experimental and unique genre and the bands exhibiting it arguably deserve further recognition for their work and this new release from Pond will certainly go a long way to achieving this.
Pond come to the UK this month as part of their album tour in which they’ll play 6 dates starting at ‘The Leadmill’ in Sheffield on the 20th February and finishing at the Bristol Fleece on the 27th. There is an abundance of tickets available for the majority of the venues so if there’s even a minuscule part of you that’s debating on whether to get involved with this tour then don’t pass up the opportunity to see this fantastic live act and give them the support they deserve.
I shall leave you with the video for the title track Man It Feels Like Space Again which hallmarks their hilariously bonkers outlook on music videos: