Monday, 5 August 2013

Review // Pond- 'Hobo Rocket'

It's Monday which means a whole new load of releases are unleashed for your ears out into the big wide world- one of these being Pond's 'Hobo Rocket', which I reviewed for Crack over here. You can also read the piece below- spoiler alert: It ain't 'Beard, Wives, Denim', that is for sure...
Pond- 'Hobo Rocket'
 Aussie psychedelic collective Pond have been at the height of their underground success for a number of years, yet they've never stood to the praise and recognition they deserved until last year’s 'Beard, Wives, Denim', a collection of flailing, warped garage offerings. However, the band have come close to mainstream recognition due to having common members with the widely loved neo-psych outfit Tame Impala. But as Pond/TI member Jay Watson once told us over a cigarette in Manchester: “Tame Impala is the pussy version of Pond. This is what we produce when we don’t have limits.” And judging by opener 'Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide', with it’s almost-hypnotic vocals and clashing waves of unadulterated scuzz, it seems like this really is Pond’s big, bold statement… in the honeymoon stages, that is.
 Second track 'Xanman' projects Pond’s past country ideologies, woven with hazed-out guitar lines and scathingly coarse deliveries that burst out of your speakers until they almost reach distortional proportions themselves, atop a definitive explosion of raunched-out rockings that build tighter into an outbreak of corrugated unruliness. 'O Dharma' is about as poignant as this five-some will ever get, with tranquil instrumentals and achingly forlorn vocals of ‘when your love turns black and everything looks grey/ when your life comes back and you've got nothing left to say‘ that stretch out and tip-toe overhead, but rather than magnifying the potential beauty within, the song falls flat amongst it’s clich├ęd reveal. It’s a noticeable, reoccurring downfall that only continues on throughout the record’s thirty-two minute expedition.
 And that’ exactly the issue here, Hobo Rocket doesn't feel like a journey, progressive or not being out of the question, instead it gives the listener a sensation like a strenuous trek of epic proportions. Guest vocals from friend of the band and little-known character ‘Cowboy John’ on the title track are nothing more than uniform churns strewn out across their trademark pointers of rough and ready riffs, causing things to only decline more, thereon in, while 'Giant Tortoise' presents itself as anything but freshly produced, thronging them into feeling like one foot is remained firmly in the past. We get it, Pond are a kaleidoscopic bunch who like their workings drenched in fuzz, but they’re really not adding any edge to what we have actually grown to adore them for. For a release from such a highly energetic band who apparently don’t just pour, but rather unleash their inner craziness, Hobo Rocket is an unsatisfactory release that lacks excitement, originality and dynamism in equal measure.
Words by Yours Truly X

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