Pond – Hobo Rocket Review

There is so much hype and expectation surrounding Pond with whatever they do. In part it’s no surprise given that the majority of the Perth band is made up of past of present members of Tame Impala. For this year the excitement is even more when you consider just how damn good Lonerism from Tame Impala was last year. However there is one thing that strikes me as soon as I look at the track listing for Hobo Rocket and that’s the lack of one. Seven songs is more leaning towards an EP than anything else! But perhaps in this case it’s quality over quantity in deciding whether you are getting your money’s worth.

‘Giant Tortoise’ just smacks you in the face with hugely distorted guitars and bass and could knock you out there and then. I develops into a more synth and bass affair with the vocals starting for a verse or two of soft, echoed and distorted vocal before hurling itself into a massive, isolated guitar solo flanked by the same distorted madness that started the song before going back again. With even the drums being distorted a lot at the close of the song. I think they’ve done a wise thing in separating the vocals from the main guitar parts as it would almost impossible to sing though it as there is so little space in the song in those parts. I may as well go ahead and compare them to Tame Impala and Kevin Parker is much better at leaving acres of space around the elements of the song and they can utilise it. Here, the sounds are still isolated, despite the echo on them and it gives them the only choice of removing them for the vocal parts. This is a shame as they are a great but maybe that was in their thinking. The guitar parts are some prominent that they have a similar role to the vocal in that song which is pretty smart don’t you think? ‘Xanman’ starts off with a cracking deep bass line which is always enjoyable. A more toned down guitar riff joins in with a more shouty vocal which works well with the bass which switches to more catchy and snappy moments on the verses and into more ‘groovy’ dream like moments on the bridge and chorus. The percussion mimics this too to move from mainly cymbal based on the chorus to the opposite on the verses. The guitar solo’s too that g on in the background are very isolated too and compliment the vocal. But at times it feels like everything is at another frequency and that there’s almost no room for manoeuvre with it which again is a shame as if they just toned it down a tiny. tiny bit; then it would be great. But it’s by no means bad though. Still a good song.

‘Hobo Rocket’ starts off with a countdown and a lift off recording with some guy called Cowboy John rambling about flying through the universe or something as the music kicks in with the distortion, deep bass and energetic percussion. ‘Aloneaflameaflower’ starts off with a huge distorted guitar riff and fades and distorts some more before bursting into a more Tame Impala like sound but perhaps with even heavier bass lines. I think this is why it’s one of the bests tracks for me and all of them are of a good standard but it’s almost like the effects are taking the edge off the music. It’s good music but not amazing as there is no room to breathe at some points and if there was a tiny bit less distortion and effects then it would be as good as anything Tame Impala have done. It just seems like their idea has trapped them but on the other hand it sounds like they are having the time of their life too as they’re all just going mental with their roles which I think is fun also.

Pond – Hobo Rocket = 7/10

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