Tone Deaf Records

New - Pond - 9 (Deluxe Edition)- 2xLP

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In Pond’s universe nothing stays still for long. Although no
one who heard 2019’s “Tasmania” could possibly describe its
pulsating psych-pop as straight, Pond wanted to try a more
spontaneous way of working for their next record.
Taking a leaf out of krautrock outliers Can’s book, at the
start of 2020, Pond embarked on a series of totally off-the-cuff jam
sessions from which songs and ideas could be pulled out.
Given the pace at which ideas whizz past your head, it
makes for a dizzying listen. Opener Song For Agnes explodes out the
speakers like an intergalactic rock opera, running a synapse-tingling
gauntlet through bubbling synth pop, 80s hair metal and blissed out
saxophone before you know what’s hit you.
It’s an apposite curtain-raiser for an album that can
encompass pounding techno (Human Touch), elastic hipped robofunk
(America’s Cup), tripped out motorik (Czech Locomotive) and
acres more besides without even topping for breath.
Take lead single Pink Lunettes, which opens up thumping
like ESG eight hours into a session at Berghain before climbing aboard
a gargantuan synthship and disappearing off over the horizon.
Lyrically, too, 9 takes Pond into uncharted territory.
Allbrook’s songs here take a more impressionistic tack than before,
resulting in both the hilarious one-liners within Human Touch’s
gonzoid thrash (sample lyric: “she was jacking a car but she seemed
quite nice so I let her use the toilet in my place”) and the social and
environmental concerns of blissed out closer Toast, which addressed
both last year’s bush fires and the appalling wealth divide in
Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia.
Above all though, what you get from “9” is a sense of
creative abandon and just plain fun. If it was only a fraction as
enjoyable to make as it is to listen to then they must have been
having a hoot.