pond-hobo-rocket

This is the fifth record in five years from the quintet formed around Tame Impala guitarist Nick Albrook and drummer Jay Watson; a prolific output from a band who in recent years have become much more than a side project. The psychedelic vibe that pervades ‘Hobo Rocket’ is laid down in the very first line: “Whatever happens when a million heads collide”, a vocal that floats hazily over a backdrop, which sounds like MGMT covering Black Sabbath.

‘Alone A Flame A Flower’ is a sonic menagerie, a loosely-bound confusion of brutally heavy riffage and bloodthirsty solos, while ‘Xan Man’ is a huge, massively catchy slice of fuzzy rock joy; a glam stomp down a sunny sidewalk wearing your favourite shades. This piece of chunky pop is the record’s best track, and Pond struggle to maintain the balance between this and the surfeit of long, hairy wigouts, fade outs and fade back ins, and sprawling, amorphous solos. By the fifth track, the record’s initial vice-like grip on your senses starts to loosen, and everything begins to feel a little overworked.

The band’s claims to be anything other than retro really hold little water; ‘Hobo Rocket’ is a record that could easily have been buried in a time capsule by a wide-eyed trio of David Bowie, Mark Bolan and Ozzy Osbourne in 1974, then dug up last week.

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