Album Reviews

Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again – Album Review

Pond

Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again – Album Review by Tim Moss

With five (at one point or another) shared personal with Tame Impala, it’s easy for Man It Feels Like Space Again to be seen as a product of their similar neo-psychedelic roots.  However with a title that seems a little like something Spiritualized would come up with and an opener more reminiscent of a glammed up Flaming Lips, the record seems more eclectic in its approach.

Compared to Tame Impala’s methodology in writing and playing, Bassist Ryan proclaims it to be, in one interview ‘loose as a mother bitch.’ From this comes a noisier, lo-fi sound; one frequent comment of Tame Impala’s earlier work was that they sounded like a record straight from the sixties. But Pond’s work seems more in line with artists like Unknown Mortal Orchestra or in some respects Hookworms, creating a perfectly expansive sound with the refined production. Notably in Zond or their leading single, Sitting Up On Our Crain, which takes place at the opposite end of the pop-enfused sounds heard in Lonerism.

At its funkiest is songs like Elvis’ Flaming Star and Outside Is The Right Side, which establish the album’s warping flow and reverberating vocals. Though it seems to take a dark yet carnivalesque turn around half way through, with Heroic Start and Medicine Hat filled with wailing guitar solos bridged by heavily reverbed vocals.

The album never really feels grounded. Which is helped by the album’s flow, which seems to chop and change between ethereal funkiness and the garage-y side of Australia’s neo-psychedelia revival.

But psychedelia aside, in their finale, also titled Man It Feels Like Space Again, there is the prog-rock vibes heard in King Crimsons early work; of a group of well-versed musicians being left alone in a room till the early hours of the morning (note that this is in fact the case, as half the band took residency of the studio during the albums recording process).  Note the video for Man It Feels Like Space Again, which feels much like what the people at Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared would conjure up. It features what looks like a sock puppet firing an RPG at a flying carpet. Which is by far the least weird aspect of the video, or any of their visual material.

Man It Feels Like Space Again may feel in parts like a product of the shared influences, but it never feels like a side project for Tame Impala. A funky, eclectic record that establishes the bands position amongst their psychedelic contemporaries.

Man It Feels Like Space Again is due out January 27th / Today

1. “Waiting Around for Grace”  5:10
2. “Elvis’ Flaming Star” 3:25
3. “Holding Out for You”  4:43
4. “Zond” 4:04
5. “Heroic Shart” 4:05
6. “Sitting Up on Our Crane”  6:01
7. “Outside Is the Right Side”  5:10
8. “Medicine Hat”  4:08
9. “Man It Feels Like Space Again”  8:22
Total length: 45:08

 

 

Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music

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