The self titled album Bardo Pond is the first new release from Philadelphia’s psychedelic rock unit to be released on Fire. The first time I saw Bardo Pond, I was, as probably most people are when they first encounter this batch of beatific weirdos, horribly unprepared.
£10.00 – £15.00
To describe the experience as “psychedelic” is an understatement on the order of saying that whacking oneself in the nuts with a ball-peen hammer is “mildly irritating.” Needless to say, priorities were rearranged, etc. Fast-forward 15 yrs, and Bardo Pond have put out many LPs, most of them named after hallucinogens that make you throw up all night and see things – which was kind of them, I always thought. Let ya know what you were in for. All of this recorded output is pretty staggering to me, because, without exception, they seemed able to toss a lasso around some sort of ineffable hoodoo that felt like it was a million yrs old. If Carl Sagan would have 1.) smoked a little more weed and 2.) not croaked, I’m hoping he would have cut a BP track onto that gold LP that they put on the Voyager units. Would’ve been a way better representation of the best parts of the human spirit than Chuck Berry, I say. Anyhoo. One night not long ago in the Bardo Compound in Philly, Michael says in a kinda offhanded way, “Hey man, you wanna hear this? …” And there I was, being bathed in the songs you’ve got in yr grubby little mitts right now. I was, once again, unprepared. This cauldron is a bit of a different brew. It made total sense to me (as it will to you) when he later told me the name of the LP is just “Bardo Pond.” Why? It’s a distillation. Two decades of playing together have sandblasted away everything unessential and left us with what we have here. It was like no one else before them had ever gotten near the plagal cadence, not Lou Reed or the Stooges or 2,000 yrs of church music. They invented it all over again, independent of any of that, after gawd knows how many yrs of flailing away and burning themselves up. I fucking love these songs. And while I hate writing almost as much as I hate third-degree burns, I have to say it is a joy to be able to tell you about this record. I feel like Neil Fucking Armstrong. It took years for them to get here, but this record is the most goddamned beautiful thing they’ve ever done. Sorry for the superlatives. But really, the only thing left for them to do at this point is explode. John Gibbons: Guitars Michael Gibbons: Guitars Isobel Sollenberger: Voice, flute Clint Takeda: Bass, next-level comedy Aaron Igler: Electronics Jason Kourkounis: Drums with Jeremiah Misfeldt: Farfisa Dan Baltzer: Harp