Pond have always been cosmonauts, and with ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’, the Tame Impala-affiliated band make their strongest case for extra-terrestrial gallivanting yet. Loud, flamboyant and packed to the nines with gaudy slap-bass and galactic distortion at every cosmic lurch, their sixth album borders on peacocky.
This is a record that deliberately runs close to that line at all times. On the title track, drums pound with faux-somber intent, and ‘Medicine Hat’ arrives in a guise of a tinny, yowling blues song set on the outer rings of Saturn. There’s even a song called ‘Heroic Shart’, for goodness sake - Pond are fully aware that without proper handling, proceedings could become a little… well, flatulent.
Glam-rock jitterbug leads the way on ‘Elvis’ Flaming Star’. It’s perhaps a tongue-in-cheek, space-dusted homage to 60s Western ‘Flaming Star’, a movie in which Elvis Presley both stars, and sings the theme tune. There’s a slap-bass that may as well have arrived stamped with an endorsement from Sly and the Family Stone’s Larry Graham. Don’t forget ‘Sitting Up On Our Crane,’ either; a charming, soaring pastiche which sounds a little bit like a drunk martian performing Otis Redding’s ‘Sitting In A Dock Of The Bay’. Cultural references abound, Pond continually pull off their vision with unhinged finesse.
Pond have taken a different tact for their sixth album, and by and large, huge spiralling guitar solos are replaced with a more nuanced take on gaudy glam rock. They follow through with their gaudy intentions perfectly, and like an outdated sci-fi film filled with dodgy costumes and flaky green-screen, ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ manifests itself in bold, kitschy, and psychedelic appeal from start to finish.