POND - '9'

7/10

Over the last decade, we have watched as Australian groups such as Tame Impala and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard become the international staple for the psych-rock sound, introducing the country's vibrant scene to a wider and more appreciating audience. But for POND, who have been around longer than their more renowned contemporaries, they have remained a cult and under appreciated outfit doing the rounds, which explains why they have been so keen to break away from the fold and create a more distinct direction for themselves. So now they return with their ninth studio album '9', a record brimming with adventurous ideas.

Since they first arrived, POND have never been ones to move with the flow of everyone else, which is probably how they have remained so fresh and inventive after all these years. But for '9', it definitely feels like they are beginning to move through a renaissance of sorts. While there are still plenty of nods towards their initial direction, we find them exploring a more electronic and spacey vibe on here. Synthesisers and glittering production become the focus of their latest aesthetic, delivering a full-length that is more about creating a warm and inviting atmosphere than anything else.

POND may have earned the reputation for innovation over the years, but this new collection feels like they have really moved things up a gear. '9' is not just another throwaway psych-rock release, but something overflowing with bold and exciting personality, something we can certainly see them exploring a lot more in the near future.

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