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Pond

Stung!

    Pond are one of the most versatile, inquisitive, and accomplished bands of the psychedelic rock vanguard.

    The last four Pond albums have been showcases of tidiness and brevity, 10 ideas always tucked into 40 minutes or so. But on Stung!, they gleefully, madly, and wilfully lean into double-LP largesse, tapping the spirit of Tusk and Sign ‘O’ the Times by funnelling 14 songs into the most unfettered and splendid hour of their recording career.

    Stung! delivers some of Pond’s most glorious rock songs ever and also some of their least rock moments, all psychedelic drapery or funk vim. In that epic, as in Stung! at large, Allbrook speaks to our collective modern paradox of being disappointed in or even disconsolate over a world that we know more about than any prior generation but also being in awe of it and (sometimes) each other, too.

    There are so many reasons to cry and so many reasons to marvel. Can’t they all, Pond suggests with Stung!, be reasons to sing?

    TRACK LISTING

    SIDE A
    Constant Picnic
    (I’m) Stung
    Neon River
    SIDE B
    So Lo
    Black Lung
    Sunrise For The Lonely
    Elf Bar Blues
    SIDE C
    Edge Of The World Pt. 3
    Stars In Silken Sheets
    Boys Don’t Crash
    SIDE D
    O, UV Ray
    Last Elvis
    Elephant Gun
    Fell From Grace With The Sea

    Peter Bibby

    Drama King

      Within the first few seconds of the opening song on Australian troubadour Peter Bibby’s latest album, we get an unvarnished look at the man behind the music as he observes the late-night scene of a local watering hole with increasingly bleary eyes:“No one seems to want to talk to me / ‘cuz I’m the arsehole, probably.”

      Indeed, that lovable ambivalence is at the heart of Drama King, Bibby’s fourth studio album for Spinning Top Records. The project was produced by first-time collaborator Dan Luscombe (The Drones, Amyl and the Sniffers) and mixed by White Denim’s Josh Block a frequent collaborator with Leon Bridges.

      An artist who has been celebrated as inherently working-class and wholeheartedly independent, Bibby comes by this caution honestly, having cut his teeth in the rough-and-tumble underground rock scene centered around Perth’s Hyde Park Hotel in Western Australia.



      Bibby’s affable personality has gotten him plenty of mileage as a live act. He’s toured the U.S. with Pond and performed at the infamous open mic night at Pappy and Harriet’s in the California desert. He’s also taken the stage at international festivals such as Laneway, Falls, All Points East, South by Southwest and South Africa’s Rocking the Daisies while notching his fair share of rowdy headlining shows.

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A:
      1. The Arsehole
      2. Fun Guy
      3. Bin Boy
      4. The One
      5. The Pricks
      6. Baby Squid
      SIDE B:
      1. Terracotta Brick
      2. Turtle In The Sand
      3. Feels
      4. Bruno
      5. Old DC
      6. Companion Pony

      GUM

      Saturnia

        Founding member of POND.

        Over five albums fronting GUM, not to mention the nine he’s made as co-leader of psych cosmonauts Pond, Watson’s restless imagination has treated us to some of the most sonically diverse explorations of the past decade. On Saturnia, however, these visions have coalesced into the richest, but also the most coherent work of Watson’s career to date.

        When you’ve got the ability to merge any combination of sounds and moods that pop into your head, there’s a temptation to cram everything you can into each second of tape. The lesson for Watson this time was to realise that sometimes you have to strip away a great idea for the benefit of the song.

        Opener “Race to the Air” provides the perfect curtainraiser. Soaring into view like a gigantic interplanetary craft, it takes in a sparkling vista of cosmic disco all robo grooves and quivering strings, while “Would It Pain You to See?”, perhaps one of the most surprising songs on the album, is a glistening slink of sensual R&B.

        Indeed, one of the most rewarding things about Saturnia is how the songs pivot and change unexpectedly throughout, beginning as one thing before launching off into a completely different stratosphere.

        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE A:
        1. Music Is Bigger Than Hair
        2. Real Life
        3. Saturnism
        4. Would It Pain You To See?
        5. Fear Of Joy
        SIDE B:
        1. Race To The Air
        2. Muscle Memory
        3. Argentina
        4. In A Glasshouse (With No Light)
        5. It Lies A Lifetime

        Nicholas Allbrook

        Manganese

          Nicholas Allbrook is a Western Australian native and a highly-accomplished Australian songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Since the beginning of his artistic career in 2005, Allbrook has brought community and collaboration to the forefront of his artistic method.

          Whether it was in the poignant lyricism of his solo musical endeavors (Ganough, Wallis and Fatuna/Wabi - Sabi) or in the production style of his band POND’s latest album ‘9’, Allbrook shows a deep understanding of the human experience and the importance of art in modern society. He has collaborated with Australian and international musicians alike, from King Krule to Cat Le Bon, Holy Fuck and Cuco.

          Emotional, geological, psycho-geographical: this is the terrain of Manganese, Allbrook’s fourth album away from Pond life. A psyche-pop wonderland, Allbrook’s new solo album is the sound of a musician with a symphony in his back pocket, the Eighties history of Oz-rock in his rearview mirror and modern Australia in his sights.

          TRACK LISTING

          SIDE A:
          1. Commodore
          2. Babbel
          3. Manganese
          4. Jackie.
          SIDE B:
          1. The Endless Jetty
          2. Vale The Chord
          3. Mazda
          4. Round Round The Moon And All
          5.The Night Before You Flew

          Pond

          9 (Deluxe Edition)

            In Pond’s universe nothing stays still for long. Although no one who heard 2019’s “Tasmania” could possibly describe its pulsating psych-pop as straight, Pond wanted to try a more spontaneous way of working for their next record. Taking a leaf out of krautrock outliers Can’s book, at the start of 2020, Pond embarked on a series of totally off-the-cuff jam sessions from which songs and ideas could be pulled out.

            Given the pace at which ideas whizz past your head, it makes for a dizzying listen. Opener Song For Agnes explodes out the speakers like an intergalactic rock opera, running a synapse-tingling gauntlet through bubbling synth pop, 80s hair metal and blissed out saxophone before you know what’s hit you.

            It’s an apposite curtain-raiser for an album that can encompass pounding techno (Human Touch), elastic hipped robofunk (America’s Cup), tripped out motorik (Czech Locomotive) and acres more besides without even topping for breath.

            Take lead single Pink Lunettes, which opens up thumping like ESG eight hours into a session at Berghain before climbing aboard a gargantuan synthship and disappearing off over the horizon. Lyrically, too, 9 takes Pond into uncharted territory.

            Allbrook’s songs here take a more impressionistic tack than before, resulting in both the hilarious one-liners within Human Touch’s gonzoid thrash (sample lyric: “she was jacking a car but she seemed quite nice so I let her use the toilet in my place”) and the social and environmental concerns of blissed out closer Toast, which addressed both last year’s bush fires and the appalling wealth divide in Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia. Above all though, what you get from “9” is a sense of creative abandon and just plain fun. If it was only a fraction as enjoyable to make as it is to listen to then they must have been having a hoot.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side A:
            1. Song For Agnes
            2. Human Touch
            3. America’s Cup
            4. Take Me Avalon I’m Young
            5. Pink Lunettes
            Side B:
            1. Czech Locomotive
            2. Rambo
            3. Gold Cup / Plastic Sole
            4. Toast
            Side C:
            1. Lights Of Leeming
            2. My Funny Serpentine
            3. The TAB Took My Baby Away
            4. Hang A Cross On Me


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