Man it Feels Like Space Again

Written by: BV on 31/01/2015 15:32:22

Nowadays anyone with even a slight interest in latter-day psychedelia should probably have at least a faint idea of who, or what, Pond are. For those unaware, one needn’t look much further than the hugely popular, Kevin Parker fronted outfit, Tame Impala - a variation on Pond as many of the same musicians circle around these bands seeing as they both originally hail from Perth, Australia. Where they differ, however, is that Tame Impala have from the very beginning had a very concise sound where you basically knew, or at least tried to guess, which direction the band was going in with their semi-orchestral psychedelic pop. - Pond, on the other hand, have not. Unpredictable as ever, one always tends to expect their forthcoming albums to be a wild ride but not much more can ever truly be predicted about the band.

Opening with the grandiose “Waiting Around for Grace”, Pond launch themselves deep into a power-pop infused psychedelic soundscape laced with such pomp and circumstance that the whole thing practically sounds too huge to be able to hold up in the long run. There are so many different musical impressions to process that it is nigh impossible to even begin to grasp them within the first few listens. From the massive, multifaceted layers of synthesizers over the incredibly catchy bass to the strangely endearing vocals, everything seems to be meticulously layered to such an extent that the sound never gets muddy in spite of the ton of sounds packed into a single track. It’s impressive in its own right, and this particular aspect of creating music seems to be where Pond are at their very best.

“Holding Out For You” takes a dramatic turn away from the highly danceable proceedings of the album opener. It’s a ballad of sorts, and a slightly cosmic one at that. The predominant synth line of “Holding Out For You” seems to casually float around, like a fragment of something larger drifting in orbit, waiting for something that might never actually happen. The airy, reverberating vocals and the slightly crunchy, yet all-over-the-place guitar parts do nothing to bind this track to the ground, eventually taking off along with the dreamy synth lines to create an ambient pop song of the finest caliber. However just as I seem certain that I have pigeon-holed the sounds of “Man it Feels Like Space Again”, Pond turn around and venture into a track like “Zond”, which is essentially a fast-paced, highly schizophrenic, psychedelic dance track with paranoia inducing qualities. It is highly intoxicating, like the very peak of a great trip, but somehow it also constantly seems to be on the brink of being terrifying, with only the strangely uplifting synthesizers in the background to hold off the impending dark side of the trip; thus securing its schizophrenic qualities.

What seems to be the very essence of “Man it Feels Like Space Again” is that it is a gigantic mess - in the best way possible, but a mess nonetheless. There are fragments of everything from Beatles circa “Sgt. Pepper” over through David Bowie and T.Rex, through eighties synth-pop and all the way back again. What can be said with certainty is that Pond have obviously seen this album as a ‘more is more’ exercise where they have gladly thrown everything into the mix with a childish sense of joy and wonder. It all sums up like a musical chaos of influences coated in a ton of glitter that is being shot out of a cannon that is pointing into deep space. It’s schizophrenic, it’s chaotic but it’s also fantastic. Pond have taken a great step forward on their musical path – but only a fool would try to predict where that path leads. Just enjoy the ride, man.


Download: Waiting Around for Grace, Holding Out For You, Outside is the Right Side, Man it Feels like Space Again
For the fans of: Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.01.2015
Caroline Records

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