The Weather (EMI)
How’s the weather? A total bummer man, really harshing my mellow. Why can’t we, like, you know, just be nice to mother nature? Pond, a band not known for having much (sensible) to say on anything – not that they needed to, it not being a prerequisite for your standard psych rock/acid wash silliness outfit after all – have addressed the elephant on the icecap in the room here. Yep, many of the songs here touch on the deterioration of this world into imminent disaster (and Kyle and Jackie O, which is similarly awful but not directly related) and the view from chief Pond-er, Nicholas Allbrook is understandably bleak.
How’s The Weather? Pretty good actually. The album is varied but in the sense of adventures attempted more than scattershot thoughts; entertaining but not at the expense of actual songs; serious, at times, but not at the expense of trademark Pond weirdness. With Kevin Parker - a former member after all and not just that bloke from Tame Impala - again at the production desk The Weather has mild wig outs (electronic and guitar), folktronica drift, psych pop, overdriven gospel rock, woozy dances and a kind of emotional haziness that settles like gauze.
You wouldn’t say Allbrook adds to the sum of thought on matters scientific, with his contributions unfortunately lending themselves to cheap parodies of your wide-eyed Neil-the-hippie type.
But he’s not offering himself to debate Andrew Bolt (though he’d still say more sensible things than Bolt), just reflecting his world. And given the internal gaze which has characterised Pond before now, you’d have to be a hard hearted type, or RWNJ (same thing? Yeah, you’re probably right there) to deny him the expansive line of thought.
More usefully though, Allbrook has shown Pond has more to offer than amusing trippiness and the feel of a side project. The Weather pushes the band, and that’s a very good thing.