POND PLAY HOC

Published on October 29th, 2018

Pond by Pooneh Ghana

First things first: Pond is not Tame Impala; not really. Some Pond members have played in Tame Impala before, and some currently do. But while a massively, globally successful, genre-hopping art-pop band such as Tame Impala is expected to be, well, Tame Impala, Pond faces no such expectations. And they seem pretty cool with that. Pond have leeway to express themselves and grow in a way that has taken them from stoner-rock jamming to psychedelia, glam-funk and beyond. The band carries itself with an aw-shucks demeanor that projects zero self-seriousness, which is no small feat considering the pedigree. 

Pond hails from the famously (if debatably) “most remote city on Earth,” Perth, Australia — a separateness that might resonate with music makers and artists operating from here in the peninsular fringe known as South Florida. Isolation, properly managed, breeds self-reliance, independent thinking and fresh ideas; it’s fuel for inspired lunacy. Pond’s latest album, “The Weather,” is a case in point and a treatise in reckless fun, from the opening apocalyptic wish of “30000 Megatons” to the dreamy, bookending title track.

In one mad rush Pond seems to be channeling new wave, dream pop and Brian Eno through a psych-rock filter. Is this what Tangerine Dream would have heard around 1980 with some brown acid seeping into their skulls? Pond’s sense of humor, musical skill and visionary depth are inspired in combination, and carried off with a charm that most groups refuse to attempt in their efforts to be regarded as “artists.”

Pond’s seeming brashness is reminiscent of bands such as Ween, Butthole Surfers and Dead Milkmen without being musically similar at all. And isn’t that the point of being in a band? Sure, everyone wants to be creative, but it’s  supposed to be fun, too, maybe with tongue in cheek and always somewhat surprising. So free yourself of expectations derived from your appreciation of that other band, which will always and forever be just that. Pond is a different animal — a new species, even. Darwin would be impressed with what isolationism has wrought.

Pond plays November 10 at the House of Creatives Music + Arts Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami. Single-day passes are $79. pondband.net hocfest.com ~ Tim Moffatt

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