Do you ever look up at the stars and wonder – who will be our generation’s Rolling Stones, our Beatles, our Eagles? In 40 years, when we’re in the twilight of life and looking back at music from our youth, who will be remembered, and who lost to the fog of time?
Personally, I think we’ll look back at Tame Impala as our Beatles, but what Tame is to The Beatles, so too Pond is a contender to be our modern day Pink Floyd, with their new album The Weather well worth a place in memory.
It starts with the mighty palette cleansing crescendo of 30000 Megatons, presumably a reference to some atomic calamity, with thunderous horns and synths building into a shaking earthquake of a track, before dropping into the already well spun single Sweep Me Off My Feet, a sweet, synthy singalong that tugs at the romantic in all of us.
That romantic is quickly crushed, however, by the overwhelming allure of Paint Me Silver, with catchy lead lines mixing with a solid swing beat and swaggering vocals so strong it’ll give you shivers. Dropping in and out of the album’s characteristic Tarantino-esque radio station changing samples, this track’s a slow groove-out to dance to with beautiful strangers as the sun sets; it’s a nostalgic summer funker that I really can’t talk up enough.
Unfortunately – neither Pink Floyd nor Pond care about our warm vibes and how we feel apparently, as The Weather gets chilly (couldn’t resist) with an awkwardly repetitive and aptly named track, Colder Than Ice. It’s interjected with snippets from news reports about the drug of the same name, which the song discusses, adding an authentic Aussie feel. But this track feels like a ‘90s government health warning more than a track off a Pond album. Ice definitely isn’t great, but neither is this track.
Luckily, the rest of the album is solid fusion beauty. Tracks like Edge Of The World, Pt. 1 and A/B showcase Pond’s ability to mesh two very separate genres into a single listenable sonic experience, with Pt. 1 fusing ghostly vocals and organ stabs with a joyous resolution that feels like a walk through a psychedelic candy forest.
A/B is a fascinating experiment – going from a driving Wolfmother-style 6/4 highway chase before, abruptly, the radio changes stations and drops into a smoky, free-flowing, jazz-infused ballad. It feels like everything Colder Than Ice wanted to be: “You’re still an angel despite the speed / Only seventeen with blackened teeth” – a gorgeous health warning that people will want to listen to again and again.
Kevin Parker’s signature production style shines throughout the earlier tracks, but it’s the band’s bold move into uncharted waters that makes The Weather great. It’s been two years since Man It Feels Like Space Again and Pond is back with a true concept album; an explorative journey that will no doubt influence generations to come.
Pond – The Weather
Released: 5 May, 2017 via EMI Music Australia