The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Pond: Man it feels like space again (Caroline, 2015)

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Si hay algo malo para la carrera musical de Pond es haber estado siempre a la sombra de su banda “hermana” Tame Impala, que les ha restado reconocimiento y hasta cierto grado de popularidad a no ser a nivel más Indie.
En este ya ¡sexto! trabajo de los australianos, personalmente pienso que si los Impala han caído en picado en cuanto a su creatividad, Pond parece que han querido seguirles en esa espiral negativa, facturando un álbum en el que se dejan llevar por los medios tiempos, por las baladas estelares, por ese Rock-Espacial preñado de influencias Psicodélico-Glamourosas que personalmente, cada vez me sorprende menos.

“Pond’s previous albums changed shape with each release, the constant being a fondness for the traditional tools of rock, but Man It Feels Like Space Again leans heavier on synths and dance rhythms, a reflection of them becoming staples of summer festivals like St. Jerome’s Laneway. They’ve mostly chucked the Zeppelin/Hendrix riffs of earlier songs like “Giant Tortoise” and Justin Hawkins posturing, going softer on the glam goofiness and stonerisms and feeling less like parody as a result. They won’t be chasing Flume on Future Classic any time soon (then again, who knows? They already share a label with Cut Copy), but these tracks seem more likely to incite mass writhing than a sea of banging heads and waving lighters. Sure it’s got sneering commenters limp-lobbing potshots like “That drummer is too good for this band” on live videos as Jay Watson sticks to a basic beat, but it’s all in pursuit of that aforementioned ethos, quaint as it seems, of reaching people. If accessibility comes at the cost of satisfying the need for some to feel discerning, so be it.
But there’s still plenty recognizable here, the pedals and effects boards stacking up like the inside of a hoarders den. “Holding Out for You” is a stomping stadium rock ballad, acoustic singalong “Medicine Hat” remembers some of the stripped back tracks on Beard, Wives, Denim, and “Outside Is the Right Side” does a psych-funk strut over its refrain, straightforward enough to slip snugly into King Gizzard‘s catalog (and we’re about due for a new Gizz record; it’s been nearly three months.) That the album’s halves pivot on a track called “Heroic Shart” should tell you all you need to know about any accusations of maturing.
Members of the band have winkingly referred to their records forming a conceptual rock star career trajectory: Frond was the auspicious breakthrough, Beard, Wives, Denim their return-to-roots, and Hobo Rocket the fattened bombast of music industry fossils. The analogy breaks down with Man It Feels Like Space Again, though. That a band in the mold they’re imagining might put out an album this fun on their sixth go-round seems unimaginable. Even in their repeated defiance of having anything to prove, Pond still scramble with the passion and irreverence of underdogs” (Pitchfork)

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3 septiembre, 2015 Posted by | Pond | Deja un comentario

Pond: Hobo Rocket (2013)

Viajes estelares

Estoy seguro de que (extrapolando metafóricamente) Pond fuese una empresa, podría fusionarse perfectamente con sus parientes cercanos Tame Impala. Los primeros se encargarían de la parte más bizarra, algo más experimental y viajera sonoramente hablando; y los segundos se dedicarían a la melodía más Psicodélica.
Lo cierto es que el último trabajo de los australianos Pond supone un paso más allá en su viaje iniciático y que les lleva por senderos sembrados de flores, de sustancias alucinógenas, por instrumentaciones pomposas y algo cargadas, sugiriendo precisamente éso, la sensación de viaje continuo, aunque con guiños perfectamente intercalados en momentos puntuales (al Glam: Xanman, al Pop Psicodélico de Brian Jonestown Massacre en Hobo Rocket, o al Rock más Zeppeliniano en Aloneaflameaflower).
Un pasatiempo perfecto para perderse en la inmensidad del Pop y pensar en que en esta música todavía queda mucho por explorar.


Any band currently making ol’ fashioned psychedelic pop-rock will be measured againstTame Impala’s modern masterpiece Lonerism and Pond has it especially tough: the Australian group shares two members with Tame Impala and is likely to be considered a side project even though Hobo Rocket is their fifth album. In fact, when Pond frontman Nick Allbrook left Tame Impala to focus on his various projects, he was replaced by anothercurrent member of Pond. So while there isn’t a competition between the two, there is an implict sibling rivalry; while the two bands share DNA, one is the genial, goofy ne’er do well counterpart to their more accomplished brother.
That said, genial and goofy are almost always positive attributes in this realm. Allbrook opensHobo Rocket asking, “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide?” which…yeah. And while you ponder that mystery over a loosey-goosey Bo Diddley beat, all of a sudden it breaks into a Zeppelin stomp of maxed drums and burly blues riffs. The van’s a-rockin’. I’m sure the origin story behind the bombastic glam-stomp “Xanman” is a hoot, even if it’s just a result of Allbrook coming across “Zan With That Lean” and “The Nightman Cometh” in the same YouTube spree. No band that takes itself too seriously could write “Xanman”, and it’s a good example of why Pond can serve a purpose against the more refined likes of Dungen or Tame Impala.
You also have to grapple with the fact that it’s a five-minute song based on the lyric “Xanman! Won’t you understand you’re not crying for your xan, man!” It gets to the core question of just how much ambition and expression you can expect from a record calledHobo Rocket that clocks in at just over a half hour in seven tracks. You can be a witness to Pond’s good time, but can you be an active participant in it? “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide?” and “Xanman” at least have hooks and something close to coherence. Otherwise, Hobo Rocket quickly becomes a collation of the kind of wigged-out studio tricks that Lonerism was notable for avoiding or at least minimizing, an idea of what Tame Impala would be without Kevin Parker’s consummate songwriting and meticulous editing.
There are no shortage of abrupt tangents and fades, whooshing stereo panning and phaser effects and obscene fuzz tones throughout Hobo Rocket. They’re often more extreme than anything on Lonerism or the loopier Innerspeaker. Blast it at a keg party in an open field or ingest the headphone candy by yourself, it holds up either way. But the trickiness becomes a distraction. “O Dharma” and “Midnight Mass (At the Market Station)” replicate replicas of Beatles replicas, the same old flanged vocals over strummed acoustics and weepy Mellotron, with little melody to get in the way. “Aloneaflameafloewe” runs its banshee wails and plodding rhythms through an impenetrable haze of effects, evoking a half-rememberedWolfmother festival set. The title track only exists for its vocal EQ’ing; it gives the effect of a radio DJ too drunk to realize his mic’s still on and that he’s been talking over Bad Company for the past four minutes.
Pond mean well and it’s hard to stay mad at Hobo Rocket for very long; it’s quite to easy to take it at face value as stoner rock in a pure form. Then again, that term tends to be misunderstood or misapplied: is it meant to describe the consumers of the music or the creators? Not to cast aspersions on how Pond spend their free time, but when you look at bands ranging from Sleep to Tame Impala that get the same tag, there’s still a precision, studiousness and clarity to their music regardless of the production tricks or narcotized tempos. Hobo Rocket draws out the indulgence, more than happy to engage in dumb fun without bringing much to the party” (Pitchfork)

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10 abril, 2014 Posted by | Pond | Deja un comentario

Pond: Hobo rocket (Modular, 2013)

Pond - Hobo RocketNo me quiero volver vago a estas alturas, pero, para seros sinceros, estoy saturado: de trabajo (profesionalmente hablando, no vivo de ésto), de música (tengo las bandejas de entrada del correo llena y lo mismo con la de “favoritos” del ordenador con discos para oír), y creo que a estas alturas, utilizar las críticas ajenas no le va a hacer daño a nadie. Además, en TJB somos sinceros, y citamos nuestras fuentes.

Sobre este disco, en particular, deciros, que sí, el quinto trabajo de Pond resulta un tanto soporífero. Se han basado demasiado en los setenta, pero en los setenta más sinfónicos e incluso más rockistas. Otros álbumes suyos eran más amenos.

Any band currently making ol’ fashioned psychedelic pop-rock will be measured againstTame Impala’s modern masterpiece Lonerism and Pond has it especially tough: the Australian group shares two members with Tame Impala and is likely to be considered a side project even though Hobo Rocket is their fifth album. In fact, when Pond frontman Nick Allbrook left Tame Impala to focus on his various projects, he was replaced by anothercurrent member of Pond. So while there isn’t a competition between the two, there is an implict sibling rivalry; while the two bands share DNA, one is the genial, goofy ne’er do well counterpart to their more accomplished brother.
That said, genial and goofy are almost always positive attributes in this realm. Allbrook opensHobo Rocket asking, “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide?” which…yeah. And while you ponder that mystery over a loosey-goosey Bo Diddley beat, all of a sudden it breaks into a Zeppelin stomp of maxed drums and burly blues riffs. The van’s a-rockin’. I’m sure the origin story behind the bombastic glam-stomp “Xanman” is a hoot, even if it’s just a result of Allbrook coming across “Zan With That Lean” and “The Nightman Cometh” in the same YouTube spree. No band that takes itself too seriously could write “Xanman”, and it’s a good example of why Pond can serve a purpose against the more refined likes of Dungen or Tame Impala.
You also have to grapple with the fact that it’s a five-minute song based on the lyric “Xanman! Won’t you understand you’re not crying for your xan, man!” It gets to the core question of just how much ambition and expression you can expect from a record calledHobo Rocket that clocks in at just over a half hour in seven tracks. You can be a witness to Pond’s good time, but can you be an active participant in it? “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide?” and “Xanman” at least have hooks and something close to coherence. Otherwise, Hobo Rocket quickly becomes a collation of the kind of wigged-out studio tricks that Lonerism was notable for avoiding or at least minimizing, an idea of what Tame Impala would be without Kevin Parker’s consummate songwriting and meticulous editing.
There are no shortage of abrupt tangents and fades, whooshing stereo panning and phaser effects and obscene fuzz tones throughout Hobo Rocket. They’re often more extreme than anything on Lonerism or the loopier Innerspeaker. Blast it at a keg party in an open field or ingest the headphone candy by yourself, it holds up either way. But the trickiness becomes a distraction. “O Dharma” and “Midnight Mass (At the Market Station)” replicate replicas of Beatles replicas, the same old flanged vocals over strummed acoustics and weepy Mellotron, with little melody to get in the way. “Aloneaflameafloewe” runs its banshee wails and plodding rhythms through an impenetrable haze of effects, evoking a half-rememberedWolfmother festival set. The title track only exists for its vocal EQ’ing; it gives the effect of a radio DJ too drunk to realize his mic’s still on and that he’s been talking over Bad Company for the past four minutes.
Pond mean well and it’s hard to stay mad at Hobo Rocket for very long; it’s quite to easy to take it at face value as stoner rock in a pure form. Then again, that term tends to be misunderstood or misapplied: is it meant to describe the consumers of the music or the creators? Not to cast aspersions on how Pond spend their free time, but when you look at bands ranging from Sleep to Tame Impala that get the same tag, there’s still a precision, studiousness and clarity to their music regardless of the production tricks or narcotized tempos. Hobo Rocket draws out the indulgence, more than happy to engage in dumb fun without bringing much to the party” (Pitchfork)

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3 diciembre, 2013 Posted by | Pond | Deja un comentario

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” (pitchfork.com)

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4 abril, 2012 Posted by | Pond | 1 comentario

Pond: Fantastic explosion of time (Single, 2012)

pond

Un single para hoy en TJB. El trío Pond (no confundir con aquel grupo Grunge de mediados de los noventa), tiene mucho, pero que mucho que ver con Tame Impala. No en vano, dos de sus miembros pertenecen al fantástico grupo Psicodélico de las Antípodas. Y como no podía ser menos, Pond suenan muy semejantes a aquellos. Su explosión no es sólo de tiempo, como reza el título del tema, sino también de Pop-Psicodélico, con influencias de cierto tipo de Pop poderoso elaborado a finales de los sesenta y comienzos de los setenta. Mucho habrá que esperar de estos Pond.

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31 enero, 2012 Posted by | Pond | 2 comentarios

   

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