It initially seemed odd that Nick Allbrook, bassist of Tame Impala would jump ship right after the release of the band’s critically acclaimed sophomore album Lonerism. But now that jump doesn’t seem so unusual. Pond, the psych-rock side project of Allbrook and fellow Tame Impala member Jay Watson, started out as a simple supplemental creative outlet. Allbrook has now left to work with Pond full-time, while Watson still splits his time between both acts. With the release of their latest album, it’s clear that Pond will no longer be outshone by their counterparts.
Hobo Rocket has Pond encapsulating the same fuzzy ferocity of the band’s previous material without compromising a cleaner production value. With a brief seven-song tracklist and a running time of only 34 minutes, Pond get straight to the point on their new record. The opening track “Whatever Happened To The Million Head Collide,” kicks off with a funky bassline, followed by Pond pulling thin, hairline guitar riffs through a stream of psychedelic, fuzz-filled melodies. Fellow psych-tinged piledrivers like “Xanman” and “Giant Tortoise” are filled with reverb-drenched guitar solos that rip through the space-time continuum, straight out of the ’70s and into the present.
For a split-second, the album falls into a dreamy, melodic lull, with “O Dharma.” Right before you drift off into a sonic trance, Pond pulls you back down and drags you through the audible underworld with the raucous “Aloneaflameaflower.”
Like many psych-heavy records today, the album doesn’t say much lyrically. The lack of deep lyrical content is an easy detail to overlook due to Pond’s complex execution of instrumentation. Hobo Rocket blasts off into an atmosphere of lava-lamp space riffs and hazy, cosmic grooves, and doesn’t ever come down. The album’s screeching and sweeping waves of unruly tunes might just be an audiophiles’ dream come true.