Pond‘s sixth album Man It Feels Like Space Again is characterised by the use of the same synth tones, the same clouded vocals, and the same airy production in just about every song. The gentle melody of ‘Holding Out For You’ surely has merit as a psychedelic pop song, however much of it is hidden behind a brick wall of effects which by track four becomes tedious, and by track five tiresome. A couple of standouts emerge; the waltz-turned-primal-riff-out ‘Waiting Around For Grace’ and the inescapably funky ‘Outside Is The Right Side’. Otherwise, singles like ‘Zond’ are frantic but hardly interesting. There seems a trend where the songs share a frustratingly disjointed quality – they start as one and end as another, with most of the album’s moments of light coming in brief grooves amidst otherwise-inconsistent musical montages before again becoming lost.

The incredibly vague ‘Heroic Shart’ epitomises the album’s main shortcoming: a psychedelic gratuitousness that sees spacey effects trump or simply fudge note-worthy songwriting. A specter into the dangers of overusing pedals, Man It Feels Like Space Again is a confused release that belies Pond’s sterling efforts of albums’ past; where effects, while equally as silly to this album, were secondary to the songwriting that lay beneath.

4/10

Man It Feels Like Space Again comes out on January 23rd through Universal Music Australia.