By Dave Pehling

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — While they have not yet ascended to amphitheater-filling heights of sibling Australian psych band Tame Impala, Down Under rock band Pond has a loyal and growing fanbase thanks to the prolific output of principle songwriter Nick Allbrook. Formed in 2008 by Allbrook and fellow Tame Impala member Jay Watson (TI main man Kevin Parker used to play drums in the band and has produced all of their albums), the Perth-based group crafts a much wilder, more unruly style of psychedelic rock.

The band issued a pair of albums through Aussie imprint Badminton Bandit Records that were recorded in a home studio on eight-track before garnering wider recognition from their association with Tame Impala, eventually signing to the larger Australian label Modular Records. While the two bands delve into similar echo-drenched sonic vistas, Pond employs far heavier guitar riffs with a funkier, more irreverent approach on 2013’s Hobo Rocket. The group veered easily from the delicate, fractured pop of “O Dharma” to the punchy swagger of face-melting tunes like “Xanman” and the title track.

Strangely, that album was actually recorded after Pond decided to temporarily shelve the already completed effort Man, It Feels Like Space Again, which ended up finally being released in 2015. In some ways, Man, It Feels Like Space Again presaged Tame Impala’s drift into propulsive dance beats and woozy synths that marked TI’s most recent album Currents. The band’s latest album The Weather — once again produced by Parker, but their first for new label Marathon — continues the move in a more electronic direction. Simultaneously embracing both electro-pop sheen and sweeping symphonic sounds, the songs on the new album find Pond channeling a pulsing analog vibe that nods equally to the cinematic psych of the Flaming Lips and the savvy hooks of Beck and Prince. While still a member of Pond, Watson has been exploring a similar sound with his solo releases as GUM, issuing his latest effort The Underdog via Spinning Top Records last month.

Fresh from the recent announcement that both Pond and Tame Impala would be playing this year’s revival of the Treasure Island Music Festival in October, Allbrook and company return to the Bay Area Wednesday night to play songs from The Weather (which was reissued digitally earlier this year with the bonus track “Fire in the Water”) along with classic tracks at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco.  Fellow Australian and indie rocker turned electronica artist Fascinator opens the show with percolating psychedelic dance tunes from his recently released new album, Water Sign.

Pond
Wednesday, May 23, 8 p.m. $20
Bimbo’s 365 Club

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