Review // Pond – Hobo Rocket

pondModular // 5th August

There’s something very charming about the ramshackle and raw edge that a Pond record tends to exhibit. That’s not to say the sound is amateur by any means – honing their wild live repertoire within the confines of the studio is no mean feat and the songs on offer here certainly hold their own. ‘Giant Tortoise’ lumbers along delightfully with many of psychedelia’s signatures comfortably in tow. ‘Xan Man’ comes right at you and six minutes later you wonder the hell just happened.

There’s a purity invested in what Pond do. Part of the sound bite at the end of the title track appears to be testament to that; something along the lines of “Everyone’s professional and we do it only once”.

With the next Pond record, ‘Man, It Feels Like A Space Again’ originally planned as the follow up to ‘Beards, Wives, Denim’, it’s hard to judge if this is a precursor of sorts or a mini masterpiece in itself with a successor already mapped out. The sound is expansive but at 7 tracks elapsing for a total of 34 minutes its duration seems at odds to its ambition. That’s not say the overall impression is lessened – Pond’s sound and the multi-layered depth to their music is consistently interesting. It’s possible the ideas count kept the track count low because there is a lot to appreciate from song to song (that’s a good thing, by the way).

Pond are a music machine, an effervescent locomotive of noise and sound you’d gladly tie your head to the tracks for, just to get closest to the experience. That said, ‘Hobo Rocket’ might not be quite enough to change everybody’s world but it will provide you with a wonderfully immersive rock n’ roll fix and, most of the time, that’s more than enough.

Jean-Paul Storrow

 

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