Pond – “Tasmania” Review

John Zurzola

Upon listening to Tasmania, I didn’t know what I was going into. I’ve never listened to a Pond record before this, so I felt like I was on a “blind date”, so to speak. Let me just put it to you simply- this is a HELL of a fun record. Its use of instrumentation and tendency to include strange sounds pulled me in almost immediately. There isn’t a moment where you don’t hear some sort of effects being used. This is demonstrated through tracks such as, “The Boys Are Killing Me” and “Hand Mouth Dancer” Pond’s incorporation of utilizing a synthesizer’s full potential to create these intriguing sounds for every track make the experimentation impossible to escape.

“Hand Mouth Dancer” took me on a nostalgia trip to where it felt like I stumbled upon an unreleased MGMT record. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that Pond listened to hours upon hours of MGMT, Foster The People, and Phoenix (and maybe a hint of Pink Floyd) religiously, as it captures the independent “Southern California” style that seems to always strike a chord with listeners. Keep in mind, MGMT originated in Connecticut while Phoenix formed in France, with Foster the People forming in Los Angeles, but I digress. Pond did exactly what all three of these bands accomplished, adopting that sound that I find to be very attractive in music, and making something completely breathtaking.

The tracks, while slightly long, never cease to keep you listening. There’s something going on in every song, which proves Tasmania’s ability to be very cohesive. It’s unpredictability also plays a factor in this. An example of this would be my reaction to the album’s title track, “Tasmania.” A few bass notes, and then WHAM! The drums immediately come in. “Burnt Out Star” is another example of Pond’s evident fascination with “Avant Garde” influences, as it transitions to an acapella of angelic voices, to a lo-fi combination of synth and other scattered effects. Before you know it, the drums come in hot almost immediately especially after the buildup which takes up most of the song.

“Tasmania” is talked about as if it’s this ‘Promised Land’ or ‘Safe Haven’ to escape to when all goes wrong. It’s all very fascinating, considering the production adds onto that imagination. Pond definitely hit it out of the park with this album, combining unpredictable formats, crazy instrumentation, and allowing the listener to picture anything their mind can create. Yes, it has now been completely downloaded onto my phone and I can already anticipate myself listening to this for the rest of the week.

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