Pond: 9

Pond is a psychedelic rock band from Australia sharing three members with the breakout group “Tame Impala” at different times in the band’s history, making for a pleasant obscurity for fans of the band to discover. The project was apparently started to allow all members to have a creative outlet, which is somewhat surprising, considering the songs on their newest album 9 are all tight and well put together. While bands like Led Zeppelin and The Grateful Dead are known for their long, improvised jams, Pond is sort of “Jam Lite.” Each track sounds like a particularly good section of an improvised session shortened, memorized, and cleaned up to produce a clearly composed song.

Pond comes into 9 with a vibe that’s a bit like slipping and hitting your head in the shower, then waking up at the disco. Straight away “Song for Agnes” brings us some big weird energy followed up by the possibly dangerous Rolling Stones-esque “Human Touch,” which manages to do quite a bit with basically just a nice peeling synth line and simple rhythm and bass loop. The song is one of my favorites off the album, not only for the tune, but the lyrics and story are fun and unique, bringing an immediate immersion after “Song for Agnes” draws us in.

One time a woman was smashing up a car outside my house, begging me to help her steal it. She was wired but kind of sweet in a scary way. Her dog, named Josie, was sitting in the passenger seat being very cute.

– Nick Allbrook (Frontman of Pond and former Tame Impala member on the meaning behind the track “human touch”)

It seems that more and more today’s LP releases are moving toward a more consistent quality, instead of being spotted with a few hits and a couple intermissive lulls. Pond seems to have taken equal care with every track, there doesn’t seem to be a high or low point for better or for worse. While the pace of the work is compelling, instantly hooking you and then delivering on a promised good time, the variety is somewhat lacking. For a “weird” kind of band, they are fairly tame. (Forget it, we are not doing puns here.) In their weird sound qualities they more or less seem to stick to a signature sound which, like the pacing, at least seems to succeed in compelling listeners.

The quality Pond brings to 9 should prove a pleasant surprise for fans and new listeners alike. The band reveals they feel they were able to let it all out for the first time with this album and the instantly catchy psych rock stylization coming out of the band is original, fairly well composed, attention getting, and genuinely a fun listen. It seems, unfortunately, the acid is wearing off now though—so that being said: Until next time, friends and foes alike!

Rating: 7.8/10

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