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Man, It Feels Like Space Again Colm McAuliffe , February 6th, 2015 14:48

Man, It Feels Like Space Again, the sixth album in seven years from Tame Impala cohorts Pond, is the sound of a band gloriously, fantastically and unashamedly in love with their own music. The nine tracks which comprise the album are - like any worthwhile love affair - prone to outbursts of absolute gibberish, wild flights of fancy and bursts of manic, emotional intensity. But this lover's discourse repeatedly hits the psonic psunspot: while certainly in thrall to their psychedelic and hallucinogenic influences, the album works incredibly well on its own merits, as a dilated celebration of psychedelic hyperactivity.

Of course, Man, It Feels Like Space Again is completely lacking in any sense of coherency. Actually, it would be more correct to say the songs are lacking in any sense of coherency. For example, 'Heroic Shart' – a reference to the fine and noble art of fecal incontinence - begins as a narcoleptic revue through the time space continuum with a middle section comprising of processed feedback and assorted clicks and bleeps before climaxing with an explosion of distorted drums and unidentifiable interference. Meanwhile, 'Elvis' Flaming Star' shamelessly pilfers the good-time groove from Kenny Loggins' 'Footloose', mangling it into three minutes of power-pop perfection. Most dazzling of all, however, is album opener 'Waiting Around For Grace', tentatively beginning as a hushed lullaby, before morphing into a flagrantly outré fuzz rock beast, replete with sky kissing coda; the synths and lead guitar battle for attention only for the guitar to reign supreme just as the song fades into the stratosphere.

While the homages on the album are often obvious, picking out the myriad references, nods and steals makes you feel like a bit of a killjoy; similarly, the connections between Pond and Tame Impala run deeper than mere personnel overlap, but this is all immaterial when you've got such rampant flippancy on show. You see, Pond teeter on that very fine line between natural mystique and mindless pastiche: "All I wanna do is get drunk and listen to Dennis Wilson, 'cos he's the man, oh yeah", declaims Jay Watson amid the narcoleptic haze of 'Sitting Up On Our Crane'. The simple fact that the word 'Wilson' is lingered upon and delivered in such a ludicrous falsetto harmony makes you wonder: what are Pond trying to achieve? Are they mere palimpsests of psych, immodestly re-appraising the tropes of warped and wonky pop for their own nefarious means? Or are they true musical visionaries, in possession of the sixth chakra, capable of unleashing the supreme sound of sonic alchemy?

Of course, the answer is: who gives a fuck? Man, It Feels Like Space Again is grandiose in the delivery, quixotic in the extreme, but, most of all, it's a helluva lot of fun to listen to.

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