Ziggy Stardust committed rock n’ roll suicide some 40 years ago now. His essence however is miraculously resurrected in glorious baroque glam-freak splendour in just the first few seconds of Pond’s second album, Man It Feels Like Space Again; A dreamy lullaby that seems like its been written on the moon, as singer Nick Allbrook muses “without a soul around”, it is arguably one of the most spine-tingling album openings in quite some time.
If you weren’t already aware of Pond, they are made up of former members of Australian psychedelic rockers, Tame Impala, a band who are steadily amassing mass global adoration, with a best alternative album Grammy award nomination for last years superb Lonerism. Away from the Tame Impala label, the members of Pond continue the same steadfast psychedelic tendencies but with a sprinkling of glam rock. The results have been consistently mesmerising.
Man It Feels Like Space Again doesn’t stray far from the already successful formula, but who can discount an album for failing to experiment from a recipe that is so heady, fun and downright brilliant.
Part of the album’s brilliance is the way Pond manages to bend the classic pop songbook and make it their own. The bass-line on ‘Elvis Flaming Star’ sounds as if it has been plucked from Wham’s! ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ and the opening synths of “Holding Out For You” are reminiscent of Groove Armada’s sumptuous masterpiece ‘At The River’. Pond wear their influences on their sleeve, but adapt them to suit their quixotic, spaced-out vision.
‘Zond’ is so funky it’s deadly; a real foot-tapping dance floor filler that pulsates and writhes like a venomous snake. ‘Outside Is The Right Side’ puts any of the songs on Mark Ronson’s new album to shame, with breathless, celestial vocals and a groovy strut so good that it’ll have Bruno Mars weeping into his cornflakes. The coda in ‘Medicine Hat’ is pure cinematic, shoe-gazing escapism conjuring up images of galaxies far, far away.
‘Sitting Up On Our Crane’ is suitably wistful but highlights Nick Allbrook’s insipid, cliched habit of serenading us about getting suitably “up high”. A few moments lumber along, like the clumpy ‘Heroic Start’, made evidently worse when put alongside songs of such high quality.
Regardless, Pond have created a cohesive album of such pensive beauty and effervescent soul that all misgivings are lost from memory.
A bonafide chic effort that will tap in nicely to the increasing demand for euphoric psychadelia that combines the genres of bygone eras and makes them digestible for the modern day indie kid.