Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Bardo Pond - Set And Setting

I love Bardo Pond - a fuzz/drone/psych/space ensemble, heavy on the bongtastic distortion and wasted atmospherics. Their particular formula is a lush, sludgy, hedonistic sounding one that especially appeals to me. Isobel Sollenberger's drawled vocals aren't too dissimilar to Kim Gordon's, and perfectly fit the super-loose, bluesy psych-fuzz riffs. First track, the 11 minute 'Walking Stick Man' sets the tone in wonderful fashion: a swaying groove churns along, with perfectly damaged vocals, and a wall of glorious fuzz, helped along by Sabbathy harmonica: it's a woozy worshipful hymn to the power of distortion and the guitar. Actually, the whole album is. 'This Time, So Fucked' steps it up a notch, with some wailing wah fighting off feedback. There is a bit of variation - the disembodied and detached 'Datura' is on the verge of descending into shaking-eyed psychosis, and is following by the chugging and thunderous rock out of 'Again', before the 9+ minute 'Crawl Away' returns to the meandering, head nodding fuzz waves. If you like this, check out 'Peri' and 'Amanita', although all their albums I've heard are pretty good.