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Pond — Hobo Rocket (2013)

Pond — Hobo Rocket (Aug. 6, 2013)                              Pond — Hobo Rocket
≡   “This isn’t the inverse of Tame Impala: it’s a kindred spirit of the closest sort”.
Formed: 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Album release: August 6, 2013
Record Label: Modular Recordings
Duration:     34:06
01 Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide     4:43
02 Xanman     5:50
03 O Dharma     4:57
04 Aloneaflameaflower     4:33
05 Giant Tortoise     4:13
06 Hobo Rocket     3:35
07 Midnight Mass (At the Market Street Payphone)     6:14
Album Moods:
≡   Atmospheric Druggy Crunchy Epic Trippy Dramatic Meandering Spacey Ambitious Bravado Dreamy Ecstatic Exuberant Magical Shimmering
≡   Amber Bateup  Photography 
≡   Rob Grant  Mastering 
≡   Cowboy John  Composer, Vocals 
≡   Joey K.  Design 
≡   Clint Oliver  Engineer 
≡   Kevin Parker  Mixing 
≡   Dave Parkin  Saxophone 
Band members:
≡   Nick “Paisley Adams” Allbrook — vocals, flute, keys, guitar
≡   Jay “Wesley Goldtouch/Wirey B. Buddah” Watson — guitar, keys, bass & backing vocals
≡   Joseph “Shoseph Orion McJam” Ryan – guitar, bass & backing vocals
≡   Jamie Terry — keys & bass
≡   Cam Avery — drums*
* Kevin Parker recorded drums for most of Beard, Wives, Denim
≡   Nick “Paisley Adams” Allbrook — vocals, flute & sometimes keys
≡   Jay “Wesley Goldtouch/Wirey B. Buddah” Watson — guitar, keys, bass & backing vocals
≡   Joseph “Shoseph Orion McJam” Ryan — guitar, bass & backing vocals
≡   Jamie Terry — keys & bass
≡   Cameron Avery — drums
≡   Richard “Aslan McPride” Ingham — guitar & percussion
≡   Nick “Odin Bombadillo” Odell — percussion
≡   Jeremy “Ayayayai” Cope — keys & percussion
≡   Matthew “Celestius Maximus Argyle” Saville — drums
≡   Kevin “Kaykay Sorbet” Parker — drums
Review by Jason Lymangrover  Score: ***½
≡   Considering that both bands share members and a similarly psychedelic mindset, Tame Impala are often the introductory gateway drug for the less established Pond. However, it’s on 2013’s Hobo Rocket that the little~brother band starts to establish its own unique identity. Armed with a desire to rock harder than they did on their former outing, Beard, Wives, Denim, or Tame Impala’s textural Lonerism, heavy guitar fuzz takes the group’s sound to a darker place. Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson, Joseph Ryan, Cam Avery, and Jamie Terry have been playing together for a while by now — this being Pond's fifth official outing — and their chemistry shows, made evident by some seriously extreme shifts in signatures and dynamics. Choice cuts „Aloneaflameaflower“ and „Giant Tortoise“ both demonstrate this range, propelled by crystalline, echo~laden vocals in slow, dreamy verses, before breaking hard into crazed drumming and fist~pumping Sabbath~influenced guitar riffs. While the fidelity is blown out to the red and hooks aren’t as obvious this time (nothing is as instantly hummable as „When It Grows“), the Australian five~piece’s arrangements are more schizophrenic and articulately structured, so it’s a nice return to the spacy weirdness of their earlier outings when special guest Cowboy John (who is credited as a mystic, wanderer, and eccentric) takes over on vocal duties for the title track, slurring on about riding the cosmic express to find a horse with wings. Wide~eyed wonder still intact, there’s a lot of depth to explore in the 30 minutes of Hobo Rocket, from bombastic glam, to chugging stoner rock, to colorful psychedelia — all of it odd as usual.
Fortaken: http://www.allmusic.com/
First listen on NPR
By Bob Boilen; July 28, 201310:30 PM
≡   From Ty Segall to Tame Impala to Pond, psychedelic riff~rock is in the midst of a major renaissance. It helps that many of its practitioners are prolific and, in some cases, related to each other: Tame Impala and Pond share three members. (Both groups are based in Perth, Australia.)
Pond started in 2008 — less like a band and more like a loose amalgamation of musicians looking to make a lot of noise. At its core lie the meandering psychedelic adventures of artists like Can, whose own roots can be traced directly to The Velvet Underground's minimalism and drone.
≡   But, at the same time, Pond wouldn't attract the mainstream attention it has without its unforgettably blistering pop jams. Out August 6, Hobo Rocket is a near~perfect record — but only if you can crank it up.
Fortaken: www.npr.org
By Doug Wallen;  Score: 8/10 stars
≡   The easiest thing would be to label Pond the cocky, outspoken brother to Tame Impala’s introspective dreamer and be done with it. And there’s plenty to support that: on fifth album Hobo Rocket, Pond fully embrace their live show’s glam~rock mojo, de~facto frontman Nick Allbrook kicking out the jams with guttural grunts. It’s not only tougher than last year’s breakthrough Beard, Wives, Denim but reveals more of a unified voice than that super~cool dial~an~influence sampler. It’s about projecting into the far ranks of a festival crowd rather than retreating inside your own head like Tame Impala’s most poignant moments.
≡   But it’s not that easy, is it? For one, Tame Impala and Pond share too many of the same members and impulses to make such a cut~and~dry Jekyll~and~Hyde analogy work. For all the ballsy stomp of ‘Xan Man’ — which shows off its own inner sweetness amid the grinning MC5~isms — these songs still maintain the reflective undertow of Tame Impala. It’s there in the synth~addled vision quest punctuating the saturated rock revival of ‘Giant Tortoise’ (this album’s ‘Elephant’, to take another easy way out) and the similar flight of fancy adding both wanderlust and scope to the ballad ‘Odarma’ (which features some truly standout lyrics in “And if you motherfuckers don’t like it, you can all get out.”)
≡   This isn’t the inverse of Tame Impala: it’s a kindred spirit of the closest sort. The opening ‘Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide’ even has a similar confidence~building vibe as Tame Impala’s Lonerism preamble ‘Be Above It’. And the combination of monster psych~rock riffs and Todd Rundgren~y synth glides (see ‘Alone A Flame A Flower’) isn’t a far cry from their (slightly) more famous and acclaimed sibling, right down to the recurring whiffs of The Beatles.
≡   But that doesn’t mean this record doesn’t do its own thing too. The songs change directions on more brazen whims than Tame Impala’s, and the raga~spiked title track is hijacked by Fall~esque guest vocals from “Perth fixture” Cowboy John. “What kind of drugs you guys on?” he asks at one point, as the band jams stoically on ahead. It doesn’t seem like it would work past the first listen but it holds up rather well, thanks largely to the free~for~all context of this album. It’s a proud badge of the band’s mischievous heart, as is the blown-out production and Allbrook’s tongue~in~cheek rock~star moves. It’s all just a bit of fun, really.
≡   So where’s the payoff? Well, these are over~the~top rock triumphs for the most part, which is reward aplenty. Yet there’s an emotional value beyond that. Check out the closing ‘Midnight Mass (At the Market Street Payphone)’, which best captures Pond’s mix of the explosive and the drifting. It’s consumed by a long instrumental tail, the synth element adding another degenerating layer to all that crusted~over distortion. As tipped off by the title, the song — and thus the album — finds peace in the end. A peace more profound, even, than “getting drunk again.”
≡   But why choose between calm and chaos when you can have both? Pond take us through the fist~pumping highs and soul~searching lows, through swaggering salutes and diffuse tangents. After all, even alpha males have their sensitive side.
Fortaken: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/
Andy Gill  Friday 02 August 2013; Score: ****
≡   If mutant garage~psychedelia is your thing, then Aussie quintet Pond's Hobo Rocket should have your head spinning. There's an audible lysergic fizz about everything in tracks such as “Giant Tortoise” and “Odarma”, with their cosmic~swirl phasing, stereo panning and tendrils of sitar, while heavier cuts like “Xanman” and the epochal “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide?” offer brutal, shrill psych~rock weirdness, their squalling guitars careening around Nick Allbrook’s piercing, high~register vocals. It's perhaps best summed up by the desultory guest mumbler of “Hobo Rocket” itself — presumably the hobo? — who enquires disgustedly, “What kind of drugs you guys on?”. All kinds, by the sound of it.
Fortaken: http://www.independent.co.uk/
By Larry Day; Score: 6,5/10
≡   :: http://thefourohfive.com/review/article/pond-hobo-rocket
Website: http://www.spinningtopmusic.com/pond
Psychedelic Mango — Badminton Bandit (BB001) (9 January 2009)
Corridors of Blissterday — Badminton Bandit (BB002) (4 June 2009)
Frond — Hole in the Sky (HITS007) (24 May 2010)
Beard, Wives, Denim — Modular (MODCD148) (2 March 2012)
Hobo Rocket — Modular (2 August 2013)
Man, It Feels Like Space Again — Modular (TBA)
• Greens Pool (23 December 2010)
•  Cloud City — Hole in the Sky (22 February 2010)
•  Annie Orangetree — Hole in the Sky (21 April 2010)
•  Greens Pool — Badminton Bandit (BB011) (23 December 2010)
•  Fantastic Explosion of Tim" — Modular (18 January 2012)
•  Moth Wings — Modular (3 February 2012)
•  You Broke My Cool — Modular (17 April 2012)
•  Giant Tortoise — Modular (1 February 2013) 

Pond — Hobo Rocket (2013)


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