ALBUM REVIEW: Pond | Hobo Rocket

Rating7.5square-600Pond 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.

Chris Familton

this review was first published on

New Releases | October 6th 2012


This week sees a handful of noteworthy album releases with the most prominent being the new Tame Impala LP Lonerism. The hype has been building for this one for a while now and on early listens it doesn’t disappoint. There is a huge widescreen sound happening with Kevin Parker’s trademark psych signature all over the guitars, drums and increasingly – synths.

San Diego’s The Soft Pack release Strapped this week, the follow-up to their brilliant self titled album that made the upper reaches of our ‘best of ‘list for 2010. Strapped finds them in the same indie agit-rock vein with some new wave-ish diversions and experimentations.

Moon Duo is another project for Ripley Johnson of Wooden Shjips fame and though they are working in a very similar area to his day band the duo use synths and some brighter and twitchier textures to create some fantastic droning psych rock. Think a modernist boogie take on Suicide. We’ll have a full review of the new record up soon.

For those who appreciate quality americana, Iris DeMent has a new record out. Sing The Delta is her first LP in 16 years and finds her in fine form with her country twang venturing into some wonderful southern soul territory.

Check out the Rdio streams of all this week’s featured new releases:

LISTEN: Tame Impala | Elephant (single)

Here is the first official release from Tame Impala’s new album Lonerism, out on October 5th via Modular Recordings. This thing rocks like its lumbering namesake and casts a nod to Black Sabbath amid its bouncy glam riffing and tripped out middle sequence where the keyboards take centre stage. It is the perfect balance of calm and tripped out cosmic psych rock with kosmiche flourishes.

Tour Dates

July 28 – Splendour In The Grass Festival – Byron Bay, Australia
August 1 – Council Bluffs – Iowa w/ The Black Keys, USA
August 3 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, USA
August 5 – Osheaga Festival – Montreal, Canada
August 11 – Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco, USA
August 15 – Cine Joia, Sao Paulo, Brazil
August 17 – Queremos! Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
August 18 – Niceto Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina
September 29 – Parklife Festival – Brisbane, Australia
September 30 – Parklife Festival – Sydney, Australia
October 1 – Parklife Festival – Perth, Australia
October 6 – Parklife Festival – Melbourne, Australia
October 7 – Parklife Festival – Adelaide, Australia
October 14 – Gebaude 9 – Cologne, Germany
October 15 – Bataclan – Paris, France
October 16 – Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, Belgium
October 17 – Gruenspan – Hamburg, Germany
October 19 – Rockefeller – Oslo, Norway
October 20 – Debaser – Stockholm, Sweden
October 22 – Vega – Copenhagen, Denmark
October 23 – Postbahnhof – Berlin, Germany
October 25 – Fluc – Vienna, Austria
October 26 – Magazzini Generali – Milan, Italy
October 27 – Les Docks – Lausanne, Switzerland
October 29 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
October 30 – Brixton Academy – London, UK
November 1 – Ritz – Manchester, UK
November 2 – Leadmill – Sheffield, UK
November 3 – ABC – Glasgow, UK

NEW MUSIC: Tame Impala album artwork and tracklisting

Perth’s Tame Impala are set to release their long awaited 2nd album Lonerism on October 8th via Modular People. It follows their highly successful debut Innerspeaker which was released in 2010 and featured in a ton of end of year ‘best of’ lists.

You can pre-order the album now:

Mod Shop / iTunes [AU] / iTunes [US] / iTunes [UK] / JB Hi Fi / GetMusic /Sanity / Resident Music / Norman Records / / Amazon /Rough Trade


1. Be Above It
2. Endors Toi
3. Apocalypse Dreams
4. Mind Mischief
5. Music To Walk Home By
6. Why Won’t They Talk To Me?
7. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
8. Keep On Lying
9. Elephant
10. She Just Won’t Believe Me
11. Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control
12. Sun’s Coming Up


ds…twenty five – our favourite releases of 2010

That’s it then, 2010 done and dusted and although it wasn’t the best year ever for new music there were some damn fine records released. This year we’re seeing an even more eclectic mix of flavours coming through from witch house, minimal electronica, americana, experimental and the all encompassing indie tag. Have a look at what we loved through the year, click on the covers for linked reviews and please leave comments and let us know your faves…

2010 has also been another stellar year for reissues, remasters and deluxe versions and honourable mentions must go to:

  • David Bowie | Station To Station
  • The Rolling Stones | Exile On Main Street
  • Iggy Pop & James Williamson | KIll City
  • Dexys Midnight Runners | Searching For The Lost Soul Rebels
  • Frankie Goes To Hollywood | Welcome To The Pleasuredome
  • The Cure | Disintegration

25. Spoon | Transference

24. Liars | Sisterworld

23. Wavves | KIng Of The Beach

22. Surf City | Kudos

21. Simon Carter | The Black Book Of The Universe

20. Mount Kimbie | Crooks & Lovers

19. James Blake | Klavierwerke EP

18. Forest Swords | Dagger Paths EP

17. Jeremy Jay | Splash

16. Mark Moldre | The Waiting Room

15. Damien Jurado | Saint Bartlett

14. Deerhunter | Halcyon Digest

13. Gayngs | Relayted

12. Zola Jesus | Stridulum II

11. Wooden Shjips | Vol. 2

10. CocoRosie | Grey Oceans

9. Yeasayer | Odd Blood

8. The Black Keys | Brother

7. Tame Impala | Innerspeaker

6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti | Before Today

5. Best Coast | Crazy For You

4. Beach House | Teen Dream

3. Die! Die! Die! | Form

2. The Soft Pack | The Soft Pack

1. Arcade Fire | The Suburbs

LIVE REVIEW: Tame Impala @ Enmore Theatre, Sydney 14/10/10



photo by Messagebank via FasterLouder


written by Chris Familton

It seemed like a step up for Tame Impala to headline the larger Enmore Theatre but with a universally well-received album and a well-connected US tour under their belt they seem to be going from strength to strength.

Perth’s Felicity Groom was first to grace the cavernous theatre but she showed no signs of nervousness with a solid band and a brace of well rounded songs. There wasn’t a great deal to distinguish her from other indie rock songstresses but when she strapped on an autoharp the songs gained an interesting folk twist. At the back end of her set she played 39 Ways To Leave Your Lover, the highlight of her performance with it’s dark and churning guitar and Groom doing an admirable P Harvey impression.

The John Steel Singers are on the verge of releasing their debut album Tangalooma – always a good time to see a band live when they well rehearsed and itching to get their songs out. They played a set that was high on fun, energy and clever literate pop. The highlight came with the outstretched and pulsing Rainbow Kraut that featured a guest appearance from Tame Impala drummer Jay Watson and some uplifting horns adding colour to the motorik rhythm.

Tame Impala drew a large crowd to witness their homecoming spring tour and what a diverse audience it was. Down the front were the Triple J kids who bounced enthusiastically with arms aloft for much of the set. It is quite remarkable how dreamy psychedelic shoegaze rock has infiltrated the mainstream and hopefully they’ll stick with the band and the music and not discard them once they lose their fresh appeal. Up the back of the theatre were more of those who have lived through the influences, appreciate what Tame Impala are creating musically and as such nodded their heads approvingly.

Innerspeaker made up the bulk of the set with Lucidity and I Don’t Really Mind being particular standouts. With the hazy effects driven guitars, Kevin Parker’s droning voice and a frustrating lack of presence or crowd connection it all felt a little one dimensional at time and it was left to the rhythm section to keep the punters bouncing and singing along. Finishing with staples Remember Me and Half Full Glass Of Wine they showed how much their music has matured and left everyone wondering where they will go from here.

this review first appeared in Drum Media