On the global political stage, storm clouds are gathering. In the face of Trump, Brexit, Isis etc, what can a poor boy do…but sing in a rock ‘n’ roll band? Amid these trouser-soiling conditions, antipodean psychedelic rockers POND aren’t so dumb as to try and offer cloudbusting solutions, or even a long-range forecast.
Instead, they serve up ‘The Weather’ – their own baffled, if ever madcap barometric reading of the geo-political situation (amongst others), in mind-bendingly excellent album form – all this, from their vantage point in Perth, the Western Australian city referred to "as the most remote city on earth", characterized on the album in, ‘Edge Of The World’.
“A lot of the songs are fairly West Australian self-reflective,” explains the band’s singer-guitarist, Nick Allbrook, “about the weird confused place that our white Australian demographic has found itself in – not belonging to this country rightfully, and also being as sure as hell not English – and about this completely empty, confused moral dilemma that seems like it’s everywhere in the world right now.”
POND who came into being amid the Perth scene which also spawned Tame Impala, have perhaps thus far been perceived to inhabit a hazy world of daily hallucinogen ingestion and all-eclipsing stoner apathy. Not so. In ’15, Allbrook penned a thoughtful essay entitled ‘Creative Darwinism: Pretty Flowers Grow In Shit’, revealing how geographical isolation had fired his peer group into making inspirational music together.
Technically’s seventh long-player, though only the fourth to be properly available worldwide - their uniquely skewed vision finally, urgently snaps into focus on this long-player. It opens with ’30000 Megatons’, a despairing meditation on the nuclear threat, its spiraling synth-prog hysteria mirroring the escalating unease we all feel around the world right now.
Ironically, in that context, ‘The Weather’ also packs some of the outright poppiest POND tunes to date. The Track 2-3-4 whammy of ‘Sweep Me Off My Feet’, ‘Paint Me Silver’ and ‘Colder Than Ice’ finds the band at their most melodically direct and synth-pop-loving, if forever with a wryly subversive twist. If these be the hits to make POND a rightful household name, then arrive they must with a dark undertow of drug chaos and genital indiscretions...