Tuesday, 2 October 2007



With a dense rumble in the distance signalling its arrival, the fizzled feedback opening serves as a crushing block of sonic destruction. In other words a very big thing just started on your stereo.

Hailing from Pennsylvania Bardo Pond are long time purveyors of some of the noisiest music known to man as they push various buttons and barriers in delivery a sweeping assault on the senses that deals heavily in juxtaposition.

The most striking collision is the soft and delicate female vocals seemingly warring with the elements as they endeavour to pierce through the heavy cacophony in the name of some kind of tranquillity.

The mass feedback and high octane noodling very much recollects Sonic Youth in full flow before whirling into classic Psychedelic territory, seemingly lifting the listener to higher climbs as the song endures, grows and matures. This is music you can genuinely get swept up in.

Lapsed is seven songs strong, seven songs that are the length of a full album. You do not come away from this record feeling short changed, more just changed. I have heard and seen the band compared to Black Sabbath but if they ever got this I think Ozzy would have been chewing off more than the heads of bats. He’d probably be gnawing off his own arm for escape for starters.

There is a distinct altered states element to this ride. As with most stuff in the Space Rock genre you can’t help but imagine some kind of warlock akin to Alan Moore at the helm, certainly the vibrations of the piece are akin to being lifted by a rocket. Whether there is much longevity in the enjoyment of such a sound is open to debate (and perhaps NASA).

“Tommy Gun Angel” opens proceedings and to this day remains as one of the most recognisable Bardo Pond tracks. The mental imagery that goes with such a din is that off rockets firing from a shuttle and rising up to the sky.

As the record moves onto “Pick My Brain” the record feels gloriously as if it is some kind of slow motion freefall able to mellow any moment. Please come down.

Eventually it all culminates with the fourteen minute epic “Aldrin” that feels like a ride/glide through the desert, aided and abetted by forces and traps far beyond man. This distance travelled with this song is quite the journey as the vocals drop in with view to making all else feel somewhat insignificant in its indignance. After the slow gradual build up it is at the 10.38 mark where the track truly ignites and erupts as it shoots the listener up into the stratosphere. This is the glory.

This record is a true piece of work; one of the loudest objects ever set in sand and planted on CD. Confusion ahoy.

Thesaurus moment: stentorian.

Bardo Pond

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