Still Messed Up After All These Years
LHB | Dallas, TX | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If any band (including the great shoegaze acts of past and present) throws up a bigger, more ferocious wall of sound, I've not heard them. There's not much here in the way of Ash Ra Tempel/Acid Mother's lead guitar jamming; the emphasis is on the virtuosic, monolithically heavy rhythm guitar of the Gibbons brothers and Isobel Sollenberger's processed, disembodied rants and chants. Tommy Gun Angel and Flux are much more intense, distorted and messed up than you can begin to gather from the 30 second clips above. A lot of early psychedelic music seems to be based on the premise that you can change the world if you walk around putting flowers in all the right places. The Pond' style of psychedelia seems to be based more on the premise that you can change the world by running over all the jerks in it with a dump truck. Drive On!"
Waaaay beyond "heavy"...just...BEYOND
David DeShong | Tulsa, OK USA | 04/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, after doing a review of their latest "official" release Dilate, I decided to toss my two cents in the ring for Lapsed as well, mainly because I think that, as someone elsewhere stated, this is a perfect starting point for people whose ears haven't been exposed to the Pond. Lapsed is somewhat shorter than either Amanita or Dilate (two absolutley essential albums in their own right) and offers up a nice blend of sounds including some acoustic guitar.
The album kicks off (I should say KICKS OFF!!!) with "Tommy Gun Angel", a song that is so amazingly heavy it still rings in my ears. Completely elevates the tuned in listener to another realm of consciousness. I am not exaggerating. These guys (and girl) have hit on some sonic formula that I hope carries them through the next couple of decades of output. As another reviewer wrote, this is psychedelia completely devoid of nostalgia for a bygone era. It is the NOW SOUND, kiddos. Don't let another day go by without owning this one."
No backward-looking psych, this...
poniesforchrist | Brooklyn, NY United States | 03/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"bardo pond's subaquatic, super-heavy psychedelia has kept me riveted ever since i chanced to track down their first LP, 'bufo alvarius' on the recommendation that it sounded like robert hampson's loop...well, that was an inaccurate comparison for the most part, but the album grew on me, and bardo seemed to be very focused and intelligent, in spite of having brains so drug-addled that they should all be vegetables...i am not a fan of most psychedelia...i've laughed at sundial releases, with their 60s vibe and ridiculous lyrics and attempts to "rock"...i have no interest in the wankery and retro groovery of most psych-acts today...it's tired, stooopid in the dimmest rock n roll sense of the word, and hopelessly out of touch...but bardo pond continues to somehow evade such traps record after record...'amanita' was a glorious trip, dark and dreamy and what one would hope a psychedelic band would sound like if they were aware of the decade (hear me, sundial??)they followed that with 'lapsed', and fearlessly chucked the dreaminess of 'amanita' (see "tapir song") for the heaviest thing i've heard in a while (justin broadrick of godflesh would be impressed, methinks)...the songs on 'lapsed' are amazing slabs of sound, at turns terrifying, soaring, snarling, and downright beautiful...you see, the pond has little patience for retro-fitting their sound, or staying with one idea...the monstrous "flux" is hypnotic, and so low-end you expect to accidentally soil yourself..."green man" is one the of loveliest instrumentals i've ever heard with guitars involved...the gibbons brothers are in love with wah-wah, distortion, and all that, but they are so damn savvy and in love with making FRESH music that any kind of stale flavor is eradiciated right away...the hammering blues of "straw dog", in which isobel rants rather than murmurs (i like both) such pearls as "i f**ked myself" (goodness gracious!) is followed by an wonderful, long tripped out song called "aldrin" where the bardos revisit the lengthy "amen" from 'bufo alvarius' and manage to make a compelling ten-plus minute song, which erupts in absolute chaos and offers the best musical version of the moment before sexual climax i've heard...the music builds unbearably for just a little too long before isobel coos "swing back in..." (or something like that) and the song returns...the sex metaphor is tiresome, i know, but take a listen and maybe you'll see what i mean...it's astoundingly successful music, and bardo pond is spinebending live as well...one need not be a fan of drugs or psych-rock (i am not) to enjoy this...they are one of only a few american bands i think are worthy of paying attention to...so keep your 'tortoise' and 'malkmus'...gimme some more bardo pond..."