Pond has just released their debut album on Modular Recordings Beard, Wives, Denim. Is this Tame Impala’s new album or not? Are these dudes are just riding the wave of nostalgic success Tame Impala did so well a few years ago. Innerspeaker was one of the best Australian album of the last few years, critically acclaimed and personally, it is still on high rotation. Pond is a band out of Perth with a similar sound, comprising two members of Tame Impala. Fuzz, sunny chords, rapid drumbeats and shiny vocal reverb drive Pond’s sound, expanding and experimenting with what Tame Impala started.
Fantastic Explosion of Time is, to repeat a word, fantastic. Crashing, rising and falling melodies, guitar tracks entering and leaving, pianos slowly backing; a fusion of sounds that just makes you want to nod your head. The guitar work is fuzzed out at times, contrasted with more sharp melodies, which is backed up by extremely intricate drum work. It is evident so much detailed effort has gone into the music yet at the same time it feels simply effortless. It’s the kind of music you should be listening to while traversing a golden brown grass field, surrounded by the beauty of nature, backed my mountains covered in mist in the far distance. The album does not have a great degree of variation, it cruises with this summery vibe, relaxing and warm throughout. It is not a low-fi album, it feels almost a reaction to the recent plethora of Australian punk inspired releases. Tame Impala did always draw their inspiration more from early psychedelia rather anything else, and Pond do the same.
If there is one criticism to be drawn of this new release is that it does have a sense of repetition, throughout the album and of a style very popular at the moment. MGMT, Yeasayer and numerous other bands have drawn inspiration from early 60’s psychedelia and Pond do not really break any ground with their debut LP. However it is incredibly enjoyable, and addictive. Fantastic Explosions in Time should be a hit, it is catchy, pleasing and interesting. Leisure Pony is too a very cool track, layered with strange synths coming in halfway through. Apart from that, Allergies has a very Beatles circa the White Album feel to it, which is in no way a criticism.
Pond has been signed by Modular People, so they should have no trouble being recognised as an important force in Australian music. I actually saw them open for MGMT over a year ago, but it will be interesting to see how their live show has developed and how the public receives them with an album behind them.
Beard, Wives, Denim is out now.