When people refer to Pond as a Tame Impala offshoot because they're both psychedelic rock acts from Perth, Australia and share a bunch of members, it irks me. Other than being grossly inaccurate (Pond already had 2 albums out by the time Innerspeaker was released), it undermines Pond's identity as makers of music that's wilder, crazier and often quite strange. For people who dig that kind of thing, their newest album “The Weather” will feel just the right amount of wild, crazy and strange, not to mention bags of brilliant as well.
The Weather is Pond's 7th studio album, and although their productivity is commendable, their earlier releases did sound like they lacked seriousness. They weren't results of carefully calculated compositions designed for the tastes of any particular group of listeners. The way to best describe them would be as unbridled outpourings of raw creativity that made for frequent moments of brilliance, at least twice or thrice every album. Pond have threatened to raise the bar with their music to a level that could sit them with some timeless classics, with The Weather, they have come closer still.
30000 Megatons is a pretty sad song to start off an album with, and Nick Allbrook does a brilliant job on vocals delivering the despair about how mankind has failed, and we might as well end it. The mood in the album stays gloomy with Sweep Me off My Feet, which is a song crying out for some love and attention where mediocrity and desperation hasn't let any in. Paint Me Silver is a far happier love song where the band fools around with words and sound that is typical with Pond. A/B is basically two songs inside one, the first minute has a swooshing punk tempo that makes your head bob for some reason, and then it ends with two verses that induce an emotion akin to melancholy, with a smooth jazzy piano backdrop. With Zen Automaton, they seem to have borrowed an electro swing riff that works surprisingly well with lyrics that include Sir Ian McKellen shooting lightning from his eyes.
Edge of the World (Part 1 & 2), were probably the best songs in the album. Part 1 puts the world on trial for the horror it has become, and ending with the familiar arena rock vibe that Pond executes so well. As for part 2, my favourite moment in the album comes 4 minutes 19 seconds into this track, where after a fair bit of complaining about how people are the worst (!), the band explodes into life with some beautiful arena synth, complemented by impressive drumming.
The Weather is an album that is built on the foundation of grimness, on a sense of disillusionment, in the spheres of both love and worldly affairs. But with Pond, with their mastery of synthesisers, robotic vocals and computer-induced effects, they're never more than 10 seconds away from jumping into party and dance, which happens repeatedly in this album. If you're a Tame Impala fan, which everyone is, these days, Pond deserves a listen. The Weather is arguably Nick Allbrook, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jay Watson and Co.'s best work yet, so why not start here?
Azmin Azran is a 17-year-old boy stuck in the body of a 17-year-old boy. He talks a lot, mostly about football and politics because that's what's on TV most of the time. Contact him for an onslaught of uncomfortable jokes at firstname.lastname@example.org