When ‘Waiting Around For Grace’ kicks into gear just after the 1 minute mark, the record grabs you and manages to hold on, gently guiding you on a strange, wonderful journey. ‘Elvis’ Flaming Star’ is a bass rockin’, drum smacking glam pop number soaked in murky psychedelica. Nostalgia and a quiet paranoia bubbling up during the blissed-out midsection then slip away before they threaten to overwhelm. Many such sections are skilfully woven into the wavelike ebb of this record in the grand traditions of classic Floyd and close contemporaries, Tame Impala. There’s something immediately arresting about the way Allbrook’s vocal line floats over the spacey squall of ‘Holding Out For You’. Backed by a gleaming lead guitar line and some cymbal punches, the vocals begin to seep into the instrumentation to create a beautiful mass and when the track finally crests, it’s spectacular.
‘Zond’ is a kooky little punk funk track dominated by a springy riff and heavily processed kit. A freshly released video directed by New York dwelling Melbournian and electro-oddball Fascinator, amplifies the kitsch sci-fi angles.
“Baby, can’t you see you are repeating me?” Allbrook croaks on the amusingly titled ‘Heroic Shart’. “Would it work for me? / Would it give me hope?” he wonders before the thing freaks out entirely. Jay Watson takes over lead vocals on ‘Sitting Up On Our Crane’, a song he dubbed an “anxiety power ballad” that recalls the fears of crane climbing in unattended construction zones.
The funk switch flicks right up to 11 on ‘Outside Is The Right Side’, a track that boasts a few moments that are destined to be live favourites. Think Allbrook in front of a wigged out Parliament/Funkadelic cover band. ‘Medicine Hat’ shows off Shiny Joe Ryan’s penchant for country, blooming from a bright acoustic ditty into a shimmering ballad.
The funk switch flicks right up to 11 on ‘Outside Is The Right Side’.
The closing title track is the 8 minute highlight that you’ve been waiting for since the name of the album was announced nearly 12 months ago. Pond serve up some topsy turvy riffs on this constantly shifting epic, swirling from acoustic guitars and oscillating synths to dazzling lead guitars and harmonised choral arrangements.
‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ is a decidedly different beast to 2013’s hulking ‘Hobo Rocket’, but it still offers plenty of crunchy moments alongside the washes of sun. For a record that was allegedly afforded significantly more production time than predecessors, there’s plenty of loving wear and tear around the edges so it doesn’t sound overcooked. Another welcome offering from one of Australia’s most prolific globetrotting acts.
The record drops on January 23. Catch Pond touring nationally with St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and a pair of intimate sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney throughout February.