It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about an album, and after listening to Pond‘s new record, Man It Feels like Space Again, a grand total of five times today, I’m officially addicted. The Australian psych-pop band have managed to create something that I reckon is about to change the modern psychedelic scene as we know it. Often unfairly referred to as Tame Impala’s underrated geeky younger cousin – currently sharing band members Nick Albrook, Julian Barbagallo and Jay Watson with the ever-changing line-up – this mind tripping sixth studio album is offering stiff competition, if not leaving Tame Impala in its dust.
Opener ‘Waiting For Grace’ has everything that you would expect from a gleaming, fuzzy psychedelic pop track, with its enticing hooks and its daydreamy ascending synth sounds. It has futuristic pop written all over it, the perfect opening to a wondrous nine tracked record. Quickly following is ‘Elvis Flaming Star’, a track that is undeniably all about the groove, with a ’70s glam sound stamped all over it. The lyrics maybe an unfathomable frenzy of psychedelic hysteria from frontman Nick’s incompressible vocals, but as soon as the infectious drum sequence and rolling bass line kicks in it’s impossible to sit still.
The blissed out, woozy tracks, ‘Holding Out For You’, follows, with more surreal fantasyland transportation in the form of trippy sound effects, reverberating synths and quintuple-tracked vocals. Whereas ‘Zond’ continues onto another planet entirely with twisted, futuristic disco sounds. Both efforts are seamless in their tirade and almost graceful in an incredibly indulgent way. It’s about this point through the record, four tracks in you will begin to have this overwhelming sensation that you’re currently listening to a band that is clearly pioneering the way for the 21st century version of psychedelia, and its pretty bloody epic.
Fifth track, ‘Heroic Shart’ feels like it would be best listened to on a wigged-out head trip dancing in a field with your hands in the air, but the truth is after one listen to its reverberating drenched licks, you can create it in your own bedroom. ‘Sitting Up On Our Crane’ was the initial track that got me excited for the full album, released back in December, with whispering vocals and soft guitar chords climaxing into an other worldly lush guitar interplay. The psychedelic exploration continues with ‘Outside is The Right Side’ and the classic 6/8 delight that is ‘Medicine Hat’, that atmospherically zooms you amongst the stars with incomparable experimental riffs and glitchy effects.
Now, here’s where it gets really good. When you’re fully immersed and lost in the full throttle that is seemingly deep psychedelic space, Pond round off with title track, and eight minute wonder, ‘Man It feels like Space Again’. The warm warped gem of a track is an ever-changing head fuck that leaves you feeling with a complete unease as to where you even are both mentally and physically. The lengthy wonder can only be described as a heady mix of shimmering guitars, prolonged synth chills, soaring keyboards and an epically indulgent percussion that reverberates right through you.
You may want to listen to this one a few times.
Man It Feels Like Space Again is out now via Universal.