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.

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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.

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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 2017 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.

Earlier this year, the band released Tasmania, its latest collection of new songs that members described as a “sister album” to The Weather that amps up the ecstatic pop hooks and electro grooves of that effort while ruminating on the grim outlook of a planet in crisis. Pond spent much of the past summer playing European festivals, but returns to perform for it’s loyal Bay Area fan base at this sold-out show at the Independent in San Francisco. The band also recently announced plans to release Pond Sessions, a collection of live in the studio recordings of songs drawn from throughout the band’s career. They are joined Wednesday night by opening act Maraschino, the electronic-pop solo project of Puro Instinct singer Piper Durabo.

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Pond with Maraschino
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m. $20 (sold out)
The Independent