Pond – Stung! review: sounding fresher than ever on album #10

Pond promotional photo for tenth album, Stung!

Review

Rating
8/10
Rating
8.0/10

Album number ten is a rare milestone in this day & age. Even rarer, however, is a band reaching a decade of albums with the sonic liberation audible on Pond’s Stung! (out today courtesy of Spinning Top Records).

Early singles from the LP teased the sunny soundscapes from which Pond have built their global following. The albums quasi-title track, ‘(I’m) Stung’, sets the tone early doors: “what I feel don’t matter baby,” trails the track’s pre-chorus, “as long as you’re having fun”. This is a sentiment which goes on to define Stung!‘s 14 tracks, as weighty topics including the climate crisis (‘Edge of the World pt.3‘) and self-delusion and subsequent suffering (‘Constant Picnic’) are tackled with deft vulnerability before being delivered with a vibrant packaging which couldn’t be further from doom nor gloom.

The sticky synthetic bass of ‘Black Lung’ is the closest that Stung! gets to intertwining the universes of Pond and their other sort-of sibling project, Tame Impala. Most band members have played in both outfits at one time or another, but – with only Jay Watson repping both badges currently – there is a self assured confidence running through this record which sets Pond apart from not only Tame Impala, but a slew of other names in Australia’s busy psych-pop scene.

Pond’s ninth effort – aptly named 9 – may have seen its release marred by the fog of Australia’s strict lockdown but Stung! is a joyous reintroduction to Nick Allbrook & co. Having parted ways with Kevin Parker’s production chops, the creation of LP10 saw Pond take to the faders themselves: departing to the south western surf hub of Dunsborough, cracking their knuckles, and truly letting loose.

It’s a lengthy collection, perhaps even self-indulgent at times. But every cut on Stung! is delivered with a charisma and a charm which is hard not to fall for. Here’s to ten more.

featured image: Michael Tartaglia

The UK/EU leg of Pond’s world tour commences in September, with tickets available at https://pond.band/

Review

Rating
8/10
Rating
8.0/10
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