Sunday, August 17, 2008

Album Review - Bardo Pond

Bardo Pond – Batholith
[Three Lobed/ATP Recordings; 01/03/2008]

Bardo Pond have been on the go since the early '90s, drawing influence from the 'earlier space rock and psychedelic movements which occurred around various continents prior to their own existence. Although Bardo Pond's influences can clearly be heard through their vast array of sounds, they do manage to convey a longevity that can be truly classed as their own. Modern artists such us Black Mountain have definitely taken a leaf out of the 'Ponds book, despite not sounding as fucked up as their older contemporaries.

Batholith is a bits-and-bobs release containing some of the bands live favourites that have never been conceived between the studio walls. Also containing some new cuts, the latest effort is a good indication of the band plying their trade. 'A Tune' (one of those old BP favourites) is full of druggy reverb through vocals and guitar while the wah-wah effect also plays its hand early in the piece.

Although one of the shorter listens on the album 'Push Your Head' signifies the Bardo Pond sound. With instrumentation that's slower than a snail's pace, vocalist, Isobel Sollenberger also struggles to deliver the vocals in a just-woke-up-can't-be-fucked kind of way, which typifies the Bardo Pond aesthetic.'Spint' is a correlation of guitar and effects pedals pounding strenuously to extrude a haze of noise. 'Slip Away' still renders a murky fuzz, but there's a soaring melodic quality to it that draws the listener in.

Batholith will please the long-standing followers of the band, who have been anxiously waiting to hear some of these tracks on disc as apposed to the sweaty walls of a dingy club. For those unfamiliar with Bardo Pond, this would be an adequate place to start within the band's catalogue of sounds.

By Simon K

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