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Album review Outback psychrock

EWAN KOTZ is impressed by the continuing creativity of a five-piece that rues the ruthlessness of capitalism in Australia

Stung!
Pond
(Rough Trade)

 

 

 

STUNG! is the 10th album by Perth psych-rockers Pond, released on June 21.

Lead songwriter Nick Allbrook and bassist Jay Watson are perhaps principally known for their work with Tame Impala’s live band. However, Allbrook and Watson are acclaimed artists in their own right. They are joined by Jamie Terry, James Ireland and Joe Ryan on another release consistent with the undeniable quality of their last nine records.

A stylistic return to earlier works, Stung! features effects-drenched guitar riffs on its title track, riveting lead single Neon River, and Boys Don’t Crash to name some standout numbers.

Shades of Black Sabbath can be heard on the crunching Black Lung, on which Joe “Shiny Joe” Ryan’s sludgy guitar combines with Watson’s fuzzy bass and Ireland’s sharp drum fills to create a monster akin to — but not derivative of — 1970s heavy metal.

But the Australian five-piece are no strangers to slower ballads, shown on the lushly produced Sunrise for the Lonely and the piano-led closing track Fell from Grace with the Sea.

Pond do not shy away from political themes on their latest work, albeit in a comparatively muted tone to their brilliant 2018 album The Weather. 

On their latest offering, Edge of the World Pt 3 (the previous two parts can be found on their 2018 effort) meanders effortlessly between electronic (courtesy of keyboardist Terry) and flute-laden sections while Allbrook rues the ruthlessness of capitalism in Australia.

Pond are politically vocal outside of their music, having last year expressed support for the as-yet unsuccessful Indigenous Voice to Parliament, to give better political representation to Aboriginal and Torres Islander people.

Instrumentally explorative yet stylistically familiar to returning fans, Stung! is decorated with poetically poignant lyrics and promises to impress new listeners.

Stung! is released by Spinning Top Records
Pond will play British dates in September. For more information see: pond.band 

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