Pond are and forever will be compared to Tame Impala, with whom they share a few members, and yes they both trade in retro-fitted psychedelic rock but dig below the surface and the two bands are clearly circling different planets. On Hobo Rocket they’ve pulled back on the overblown eccentricities that were generally to their detriment and produced a concise, freewheeling and fun album.
The opening track Whatever Happened To The Million Head Collide manages to reference both Flaming Lips and Wings’ Live and Let Die before Xanman gloriously straightens things up with its glam riffing and big beat. Bolan would be proud. The rest of the record continues to conjure up similarly bold sonic colours yet balances them out with tripped-out psych folk interludes that highlight how aware Pond are of the importance of dynamics, extremes and how to musically interweave them.
Hobo Rocket at first sounds wild, flailing and untethered but on repeated listens the layers begin to peel back and the melodies, riffs and hooks come into often brilliant focus. The best thing about the record is how live and alive it sounds. They play with cacophonous abandon and that is captured in all its glory on an album that celebrates the wild creativity and joyful excesses of rock music.
this review was first published on undertheradar.co.nz