Bardo Pond : Dilate

Underground noise makers, favoured by Mogwai, return

Bardo Pond are one of those indie obsessive’s wet-dream Fantasy Bands; a semi-coherent answer to a “What if?” question that should normally only arise during a late-night caning session. Namely: what if someone sought to cross the mountainous low-end riffage of, say, Kyuss

with the fucked drone mantras

of Spacemen 3? The chances are

it would have sounded roughly like this.

That said, the American quintet’s sixth album finds them cutting back on the free-noise guitar sludge that marked their brilliant 1999 ‘Set And Setting’ LP. Sometimes the resultant wobbly jamming can get unbearably hippyish, but half the greatness of Bardo Pond is their predilection for taking potentially horrid elements and dragging them off to a place of rare beauty. In the end, you gleefully submit to random moments of extreme-pressure heaviosity like ‘Sunrise’: vocalist Isobel Sollenberger repeatedly sighing “Watch it haaaappen” like the millennial Grace Slick of non sequiturs she unquestionably is.

A continuation of a legacy,

then: taking drugs to make

music to take drugs to and,

more importantly, retaining that thrill once you’ve stepped away from the narcotic haze.

Noel Gardner