The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Pond: Beard, Wives, Denim (2012)

Que nadie se piense que Pond, el combo australiano (no confundir con los Pond Grunge de Seattle de los noventa, que eran otra gran banda) son nuevos en este negociado. Que tengan dos miembros en común con Tame Impala y sean digamos que su “sosias” no tiene nada que ver. Van por su cuarto álbum y se lo toman muy en serio. Tanto que para la grabación de este Beard, Wives, Denim se encerraron en una granja australiana durante quince días y no pararon hasta que no registraron su disco.
Está claro que las coincidencias con Tame Impala están ahí y por fuerza han de aparecer. Pond son si cabe una banda más conservadora en sus planteamientos Pseudo-Hippies, gusto por el Hard-Rock y vena Psicodélica. Su single de presentación, el arrebatador Fantastic explosion of time así lo demuestra. Otros temas también se enganchan a la misma onda: Moth wings, Elegant design, Leisure pony, Dig brother...
Pero no es oro todo lo que reluce. Pond son también capaces de sacar la hamaca y ponerse a sestear enmedio de secuendias de acordes interminables, desarrollos eternos y progresiones algo soporíferas. El conjunto resulta, pues, analizándolo en su totalidad, un tanto irregular, capaz de momentos brillantísimos e incluso originales pero también de momentos ciertamente prescindibles. Buen disco, con todo, especialmente para amantes de la lisergia y la Psicodelia musical.

Pond – Beard, Wives, Denim (2012)

“More often than not, most side-projects and spin-off bands don’t spin very far from their respective musical mothership. Take the charmingly shambling Pond, a psych-rocking Australian three-piece that shares two members with Tame Impala, the psych-rocking Australian four-piece responsible for 2010’s terrific Innerspeaker. That debut put a revisionist spin on guitar-driven psychedelia so much so that, unlike other bands mining for retrograded, kaleidoscopic gold, Innerspeaker felt beholden to no specific time or place. So it’s with Beard, Wives, Denim that Tame Impala alumni Nick Allbrook and Jay Watson (here with Joseph Ryan) give the same kind of sounds and textures a more worldly setting with Pond. This album may not deviate much from the Tame Impala playbook (and, as sort of a guiding principal, trades the sheer scope of that record in for something more organic), but instead welcomingly recontextualizes that sound while offering it in easily digestible bites.
Recorded in a “ramshackle old farmhouse in Western Australia” over two weeks back in 2010, Beard, Wives, Denim feels like some very capable musicians getting back to their play-it-loose-and-fast roots. The communal, freewheeling looseness is one of the album’s greatest assets, as you feel as if you were a party to the making of the record in Eagle Bay, too. This is obviously not a record meant to transport you to anywhere except the small little universe in which it was created, helpfully buoyed by a genuine sense of good humor, evidenced by the press release’s silly accompanying track notes (“Nick B slept for upwards of thirty hours, becoming the human-koala”) and the odd stitch of audio caught while the tape was still running. “That was pretty shit, that one,” a voice notes amid laughter at the end of “Dig Brother”. Nothing here could be classified as being pretty shit, but at almost an hour there’s certainly some trimming that could’ve been done. “Tangent-heavy” seems like a more appropriate criticism. But brevity clearly isn’t the aim: Beard, Wives, Denim exists and works in very much the same way a high school battle of the bands would, where whichever band can wedge a freaked out, three-minute improv into a perfectly fine two minute pop song will probably lay claim to the prize.
Despite the fact that said pop songs are mostly used as vessels, there sure are some pretty sweet ones here. As opener “Fantastic Explosion of Time” suggests with its deliciously warped take on the British Invasion, there isn’t much mystery to where these songs’ influences sprung from. Like Tame Impala, Pond’s genre sampling feels authentic under the canopy of an established sound, with odes to swaggering 1970s cock-rock (“Moth Wings”), twist-n-shout good vibes (“Leisure Pony”), and some relatively bluesy shit-kicking western wanderers (“Elegant Design”). All would make fine singles, if only it weren’t for the jammed-out extentions and loose-limbed codas that each song eventually falls subject to. Most of the detours are massively fun, like the immersion-blender-to-the-dome shred fest that intersects “Sun and Sea and You”, and the terrific little details tucked into just-okay tunes, like the desert mirage guitars on “Mystery”. Getting a little lost along the way, it would seem, is kind of the point.
It may be unfair to compare Pond to Tame Impala too much, but when a band like the former’s shadow looms so long, it’s difficult not to. And in instances where Pond get a little too comfortable, focusing intently on the kind of horizon-gazing slow-bloomers that Tame Impala manage to render so elegantly, you may find your skip-button finger itching. More at fault might be Pond themselves, who are clearly very good at nailing tracks with a best-of-both-worlds approach, fusing those indulgent chunks of far-outness with fundamentally solid rock’n’roll tunes. And thanks to the communal tack, none of these ideas were given much time to stagnate. So it’s hard to complain when the trips in between take a little longer than expected. But if your guy happens to have some of that high-test left, and you’ve got a little time tucked away, you’re going to be just fine” (

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4 abril, 2012 - Posted by | Pond

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