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Beard, Wives, Denim

Beard, Wives, Denim

13 Track, LP (2012, Modular)
Related: Pond.

A sunbaked sprawl that’s part classic-rock homage and part chortling piss-take, Pond’s fourth album sees the Tame Impala sister band chase dank psych jams amid various genre diversions. Conceived on a WA farm in April 2010 and then completed while Tame Impala toured America half a year later, Beard, Wives, Denim captures an amiable bunch of kids stumbling into many musicians’ rock ‘n’ roll dream come true.

These tunes are carefree and druggy – the liner notes repeatedly describe a member having “a powerful experience” by way of inspiration – and waver like mirages of fuzzy nostalgia. They often can’t (or won’t) retain their shape for their duration, drifting happily elsewhere on the slightest whim. Nick Allbrook, Joseph Ryan and Jay Watson all contribute to songwriting, while Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker drums throughout and The Silents’ Jamie Terry juggles roles on half the tracks.

Moth Wings by POND

Beard, Wives, Denim is every bit as nebulous as Pond’s infinite configurations. Opener ‘Fantastic Explosion of Time’ is a riotous glam lark giving way to the burbling cosmic psych of ‘When It Explodes’, only for a funk undercurrent to bubble over on ‘Elegant Design’ and later ‘Moth Wings’. ‘Eye Pattern Blindness’ and ‘Sorry I Was Under the Sky’ are big jams that don’t really bother about being songs, while ‘Dig Brother’ is noticeably Beatles-ish and ‘Allergies’ straighter than most.

The crusty, organ-burnished ‘Sun and Sea and You’ descends into handclaps and harmonies before rocking thoroughly out, and ‘Leisure Party’ cuts the band’s fondness for lugubrious effects with Parker’s engaging drumming. The porch-recorded folk shambles of closer ‘Moreno’s Blend’ offers a rare detour from Pond’s lurching headiness, while the especially flighty standout ‘You Broke My Cool’ goes from a sinister opening to a more song-y body to a bristling implosion at the end.

This isn’t the gravest of bands we’re talking about, and Beard, Wives, Denim is decidedly a low-stakes, zero-stress sampler of styles and approaches. It may find much of its richness in music of the past, but it’s more rewarding to just take it all in than to play name-the-influence.

by Doug Wallen

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Your Comments

Arthurly  said about 3 years ago:

I fucking LOVE this album.

MarsAudiac  said about 3 years ago:

I cannot wait to see them live again. SO AWESOME.

Arthurly  said about 3 years ago:


ex_king_john  said about 3 years ago:

flight of the concords has ruined falsetto for me as a serious voice but i look forward to their tour.

Cooperative Music  said about 3 years ago:

I do have a real problem with them using the name Pond.
Pond were a very fine Sub Pop band from Portland in the early to mid-nineties. They had a couple of college radio hits in the US, and while they weren't ever really popular they were far from obscure. I loved them.

The name is not available. (Also, Spotify suggests there was a P.O.N.D from Germany who must have been quite big there as their Greatest Hits has 26 tracks).

MarsAudiac  said about 3 years ago:

I always wondered about that too! From the interview a couple of weeks ago:

Well, I’m a little older and when I first heard the name, I thought of the ’90s band that used to be on Sub Pop.
If we came up with it now, I’d probably go on the internet and see that there’s another band called Pond and not use it. But when we came up with it, that was in the squalor. I didn’t have a phone, we didn’t have the internet, nobody bothered to check. We were willing to change it: we were gonna put an umlaut over a letter or something. [Laughs] But we met some band in Portland once – that’s where they’re from, the grunge Pond – and they said they were nice guys and they wouldn’t care. It’s more their fans that get pissed off at us. I guess fans of that stuff are quite serious, and we’re quite … not serious. There’s always people on the internet calling us really cheesy.

Arthurly  said about 3 years ago:

who long as the music's good. It's not like they called themselves The Rolling Stones, for fucks sake.

Cooperative Music  said about 3 years ago:

not really sure what the difference between Pond and The Rolling Stones is

Arthurly  said about 3 years ago:

about 6 shots of smack

Cooperative Music  said about 3 years ago:

How much difference between Pond and Pond?

GrantleyBuffalo  said about 3 years ago:

9/10 and ''album of the year so far'' from NME.

Does that mean anything these days? Does the NME still think Suede was the greatest band in the history of history?

ghoti-max  said about 3 years ago:

What the fuck is everyone else hearing that I'm not? This record is controvert to theft with how closely it mirrors the sounds its trying to go for!

denudeddeluded  said about 3 years ago:

Wasn't one of Matt Church's band named Pond?

denudeddeluded  said about 3 years ago:


Ash-showoff  said about 3 years ago:

This album keeps giving. So good!

Does (NME) mean anything these days?

It means a shit load more people will get their hands on this album. So yeah, it means something.

Ben  said about 3 years ago:

2nd show added for Melbs!

MarsAudiac  said about 3 years ago:

Any idea who the local supports are for the Melb shows, Ben, or anyone else?

aloha  said about 3 years ago:

what are the times tonight?

MarsAudiac  said about 3 years ago:

LAURELS: 935-1015

It's sold out too, unfortunately for anyone who wanted to grab a ticket at the door.

thecow  said about 3 years ago:


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  • 1.   Fantastic Explosion of Time
  • 2.   When It Explodes
  • 3.   Elegant Design
  • 4.   Sorry I Was Under The Sky
  • 5.   Sun And Sea And You
  • 6.   Allergies
  • 7.   You Broke My Cool
  • 8.   Moth Wings
  • 9.   Leisure Party
  • 10.   Mystery
  • 11.   Dig Brother
  • 12.   Eye Pattern Blindness
  • 13.   Moreno’s Blend
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