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Pond: Man It Feels Like Space Again

The Aussie jam collective grow up and get proggy.

First came Psychedelic Mango in 2009.

Four years later they released Hobo Rocket, and now we have Man It Feels Like Space Again. From those titles alone, one can rightfully assume we’re in for something a little trippy. Middle-of-the-road pot-head prog, however, this is not. Sure, you sense they’ve had their fair share of Fear And Loathing… escapades, but it’s still a very ‘grown-up’ operation. Formed in Perth, Australia from a collective of jamming troubadours, Pond have evolved into a surprisingly tight, cohesive unit, having refined their freaky craft for this sixth studio album. Gauzy layers, pop hooks, funky touches and pulsating electronic beats unite in thoughtfully composed packages, amounting to one Lewis Carroll rabbit hole of whirling dreams and acid trips. And, you’ll be happy to hear, some bloody brilliant tunes, not least the triumphantly groovy, bouncy Elvis’ Flaming Star, which is rather like Todd Rundgren getting groovy with The Flaming Lips. Frank Zappa and 70s-era David Bowie are evidently influential, and employed to melancholy effect on the lovely likes of Sitting Up On A Crane. It’s a vibrant, commanding record. Buy it and be happy.