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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Pond and the album Frond January 12, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Betty Davis (Will Come Down From the Heavens to Save Us)

An organ, a mumbled intro, someone shouts ‘Van Morrison’, a shriek and then… what sounds like a gospel choir kicks in with the instantly memorable chorus ‘Betty Davis Will Come Down From The Heavens to Save Us’. Ah yes, that will be Australian neo-neo-neo (for how many times has this particular genre been revisited and reinvented) neo-psychedelic outfit Pond then.

It appears there’s something of a psychedelic revival, or would that be extension, taking place in Perth at the moment, and that’s all to the good. That this revival is composed of bands whose members appear to float from one to another oddly doesn’t seem to constrict the sound. Two or three of Pond are part of the excellent Tame Impala when that latter outfit shambles out onto the road. The Silents, another interesting group from there loans a member to Pond. But Pond are a different creature to Tame Impala, with sparser and somehow less claustrophobic arrangements, heavier guitars, somewhat different vocals and an aesthetic and sound all their own.

An hint of Cardiacs, a pinch of Bowie (particularly on Sunlight Cardigan which reworks what sounds like Oh You Pretty Things into new and interesting angles), a good measure of hard rock as distinct from metal – is that an early Sabbath or Purple sound I hear in the background on some tracks, some dance and electronica (more than an hint here and there including one keyboard line oddly like William Orbit), some Air and yes a whole heap of humour inflected psychedelia.

For predominantly guitar based music this is a great album – certainly the best rock album I heard last year – bubbling along with reverbed vocals, sinewy guitar and bass lines, fizzing synths, handclaps and sound effects and pounding drums. None of the songs overstay their welcome and it clocks in at a remarkably economic 42 minutes or so. It’s also remarkably catchy – check out album closer Frond or Annie Orangetree or Cloud City or the piano chord progression that lies at the heart of Sunlight Cardigan, or, or… well, go on, check them out. They’ve another album out, one released last year, but I’m afraid to hear it in case it’s not as good. But this is highly recommended.

Mussels Tonight

Duck and Clover

Torn Asunder

Frond

Annie Orangetree

Sunlight Cardigan

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