Pond - Hobo Rocket
riffs barrel through guitar wash on "Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide," the opening song on Pond's psychedlic, thrilling Hobo Rocket
. Three members of fellow Aussie psych poppers Tame Impala
and a revolving cast of others make up the amorphous pool that is Pond. The freewheeling nature of these songs reflects an obvious decision on the part of Pond's members to let loose and have a good time, but Pond's songs aren't messy or showy. "Xanman" is as catchy as anything in Tame Impala's catalog, those volcanic riffs burning into your skull as Nick "Paisley Adams" Allbrook screams about the guy who visits you in your sleep and other trippy ephemera. Though they touch on the psych greats of the past — "O Dharma" is a bit of Beatles
fun circa Maharishi — the album doesn't feel too derivative. And anyway, Pond is more about the performances. The guitarists harmonize their notes like angels in the dreamier moments and duel like titans when they go full-bore, while Allbrook can coo like MGMT
's Andrew VanWyngarden and screech like a Norse black metal singer. Even while seeming like the recordings of a bunch of friends hanging out for a bit and having some fun, Hobo Rocket
is one of the best psychedelic rock releases of the year.
One thing a lot of bands forget when replicating the sounds of the 1980s, specifically those of new-wave and indie-pop bands of the Sarah Records ilk, is that those classic bands had great hooks and often wonderful lyrics. Whereas Minks' debut record was a fine, if murky entry into the reverb-rock canon, their sophomore record is hooky and bold right off the bat, full of gleaming synths and earnest (and audible!) lyrics. "Romans" sounds like OMD at their most crowd-pleasing, unironically gleeful in its plinking synthesizers and playful riffs. "Margot" battles its melancholy minor key and lovelorn lyrics with a brisk programmed beat. But the most noticeable thing Minks do to keep things feeling fresh is pay attention to song structure, with particularly memorable choruses — something of a lost art amongst the too cool. Even when they're dorkily shouting "there's no better place than paradise!" on the chorus of the New Ordery "Doomed and Cool," you can't help getting swept up in their energy.
A cool, ugly slab of post-punk from the Sacred Bones
band, in the vein of confrontational progenitors like The Jesus Lizard
. Feels like an ice cold shower on a hot day - a little painful, yet refreshing!
Beautiful, hypnotic stuff from electro duo Blondes. Like the nicer cousin of Fuck Buttons, but with all the trippyness. An hour of headspinning sounds to lose yourself in.
See all of this week's new releases.
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