Intergalactic, glamorous and at the mercy of Planet Earth, Pond’s latest offering pokes fun at the end of the world, dancing on the embers of an overheated universe and falling in love with what’s left.
In a way, Pond’s eighth album acts like a sister to 2017’s The Weather. Filled with the same dreamy orchestration, flirting with the end of all days and even mixed by Kevin Parker in the same studio, these ten songs make up an excellent addition to Pond’s extensive library of peculiar prog-rock.
Lead single and album opener, “Daisy”, puts the scope of living on this earth into a sun-soaked and nostalgic journey to Spring with a slow building of strings towards the funk-filled heart of the song. Sonically, this song stands out as the most accessible on the record, teetering on the edge of contemporary pop throughout whilst remaining true to the spacey and production-heavy psych sound with which Pond found its fanbase
Tongue-in-cheek cynicism, our relevance in the scope of the universe and the exploration of fantasy allow singer Nick Allbrook to dive deeper into his love of David Bowie, sprinkling elements of Life On Mars into songs like “Tasmania” and “Burnt Out Star”, the latter acting as a new-age “Earth Song” which builds through some of the most capturing moments on the record into a groovy jam similar to “Don’t Look At The Sun Or You’ll Go Blind”. However, Allbrook doesn’t hesitate to bring himself back down to earth on songs like “The Boys Are Killing Me” where he vents his frustration with Australia’s expectation of its inhabitants. “I don’t know if I can trust my country anymore” he exclaims before building into the squelchy and bassy chorus oozing with soulful angst.
In moments, Tasmania is guilty of indulging in itself and losing its pace in a cloud of galactic noise, layered with production akin to that which sent Tame Impala’s Currents into every music fan's heavy rotation. Some fans may find these to be the most engaging moments on the album as you find yourself drifting into this peaceful world the band build and tear apart throughout the album.
“Art suffers from this idea that something that is lighthearted or humorous lacks artistic legitimacy.”, Allbrook told NME in the run up to this album. Despite the occasional reference to the wrath of a dying earth, Allbrook’s almost naive outlook is of a serene and beautiful world which he debates and explores within the album, encouraging a celebration of life and the time we have left rather than proposing a solution to the problem. This sentiment is reflected in the instrumentation of this record, which showcases a band capable of innovating, pushing themselves and experimenting eight albums deep to come up with an album more than worthy of praise.