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Bardo Pond - Albums Collection (1996-2012) FLAC + MP3
Bardo Pond - Albums Collection (1996-2012) FLAC + MP3
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 4.68 Gb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 1.75 Gb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Space Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Shoegazing, Post Rock, Indie Rock | Time: 12:04:38

Bardo Pond are an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1991, and who are currently signed to London based label Fire Records. The current members are Michael Gibbons (guitar), John Gibbons (guitar), Isobel Sollenberger (flute and vocals), Clint Takeda (bass guitar) and Jason Kourkonis (drums). Bardo Pond's drug-inspired music is often classified as space rock, acid rock, post-rock, shoegazing, noise or psychedelic rock. Many Bardo Pond album titles have been derived from the names of esoteric psychedelic substances. Their sound has been likened to Pink Floyd, Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine amongst others.

“Bardo Pond was the flagship band of Philly's "Psychedelphia" space rock movement, which also included the likes of Aspera, Asteroid No. 4, the Azusa Plane, and tangentially the Lilys. Explicitly drug-inspired -- their titles were filled with obscure references to psychedelics -- they favored lengthy, deliberate sound explorations filled with all the hallmarks of modern-day space rock: droning guitars, thick distortion, feedback, reverb, and washes of white noise. Hints of blues structure often cropped up, but Bardo Pond's earliest roots lay with avant-garde noisemakers from the realm of free jazz and from New York's no wave movement and downtown Knitting Factory scene. As their musicianship improved, the band gradually incorporated more traditional influences, but maintained their affinity for the outer fringes of music. Thus, their brand of space rock echoed not just genre staples like Hawkwind and Pink Floyd, but jam-happy Krautrockers (Amon Duul, Popol Vuh, Ash Ra Tempel, Guru Guru) and experimental indie heroes (Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and especially Spacemen 3). With a steady stream of releases on Matador, the band stuck around long enough to draw comparisons to the spacier, noisier contingent of post-rockers, like Mogwai and Flying Saucer Attack.
Bardo Pond was formed in Philadelphia in 1989 by guitar-playing brothers Michael and John Gibbons, who'd long had an interest in making free-form noise, though they didn't pick up nonpercussion instruments until attending art school in their twenties. Their first collaborator was guitarist Clint Takeda, a friend of Michael's who shared their enthusiasm for free music. Over the next two years, the band held twice-weekly jam sessions in their living room. At first, their aesthetic was one of naive, unfettered freedom, but they slowly grew convinced of the need for some semblance of structure and proper instrumental technique. Takeda christened the band Bardo Pond in 1991, after a location described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. By that time, they'd picked up new members in vocalist/flute player Isobel Sollenberger and drummer Bob Sentz, both art academy classmates of the Gibbons brothers.
Over 1992-1993, Bardo Pond issued five self-released cassettes. Toward the end of that run, Sentz quit the band to concentrate on his painting, and was replaced by Joe Culver. Takeda had begun to drift away from the band after graduation, moving first to New York and then to Seattle, which gave Michael Gibbons a chance to develop his guitar playing further. The band came to the attention of the small, singles-oriented Compulsiv label, and issued their first proper 7", "Die Easy" b/w "Apple Eye," in early 1994; another one, "Trip Fuck" b/w "Hummingbird Mountain," arrived not long after on the Drunken Fish imprint. A third single, "Dragonfly" b/w "Blues Tune," was out by the end of the year, and the group began work on its full-length debut for Drunken Fish. Clint Takeda, who'd kept in touch with the band, decided he wanted to return, and was brought back into the fold as the full-time bassist.
Bardo Pond issued its first album, Bufo Alvarius Amen 29:15, in early 1995; its title was taken from the scientific name for the notorious hallucinogenic toad found in the western U.S. The CD version appended "Amen 29:15," a near-half-hour jam that marked Takeda's recorded debut with the band. Later that year, Compulsiv released a CD EP of leftover tracks called Big Laughing Jym. Bufo Alvarius sparked the interest of Matador Records, which signed Bardo Pond and issued their breakthrough sophomore effort, Amanita, in 1996. Titled after a little-known hallucinogen from India, the album won critical praise and substantially heightened the band's profile, as did their increasingly improvisational live shows.
1997's Lapsed was a leaner, more focused effort that refined and sharpened Bardo Pond's sound; it too was greeted enthusiastically, with many fans still ranking it as the group's finest effort. That same year, the quintet's side project with New Zealand guitarist Roy Montgomery, Hash Jar Tempo, saw the release of the first of two albums; titled Well Oiled, it had been recorded during a 1995 jam session, and appeared on Drunken Fish. The results of another jam session, this one from 1998, were issued a year later as Under Glass. Bardo Pond itself also returned in 1999 with Set and Setting, which had second drummer Ed Farnsworth beginning to assume some of new family man Culver's duties. It also found Sollenberger debuting her new second instrument, violin.
2000 saw the band embarking on several side ventures from Matador; there was a 10" limited-edition EP on Three Lobed called Slab, which featured outtakes from the Set and Setting sessions, and they also inaugurated a series of self-released CD-Rs (sold through their website and on tours) with Vol. 1. Like its followers, Vol. 1 was a collection of improvisational jams and home-studio outtakes. The band returned with its fourth Matador album, Dilate, in 2001; by now, Culver had officially retired from the band, leaving Farnsworth as the full-time drummer. A tour with Mogwai followed in support that spring, and Matador issued a small-scale EP culling performances from both bands. Three more volumes in the Bardo Pond CD-R series followed over 2002-2003, as well as another EP for Three Lobed, 2002's Purposeful Availment. In the meantime, Bardo Pond and Matador abruptly parted ways; after playing the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, the band signed with its spin-off label of the same name, and debuted with the full-length On the Ellipse in 2003. 2005 saw a wider release of the material from the CD-R series in Selections, Vols. 1-4, a two-disc collection of highlights. Ticket Crystals, a mellower, more atmospheric work, arrived the following year. In 2012, the band issued Yntra, a three song EP recorded for Southern Records spinoff label Latitudes while the band was on a stopover in London.

Amanita (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 520 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 187 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 180-2 | Time: 01:14:16 | Scans included
“Not changing all that much but whipping up just as compelling a mix of drone, volume, and blissout as before, on Amanita the now officially-a-quintet Pond cranked the amps, switched on the pedals, and let fly with 11 monster songs. After a four-minute series of guitar feedback and fuzz, "Limerick" fully kicks in the album with a slow, stoned groove that's as big as one could want it to be, with Sollenberger's echoed vocals emerging out of somewhere while the slow shuffled beat builds higher and higher. Effortlessly combining psychedelic inspirations from Pink Floyd's original explorations to the more modern reachings into the beyond by My Bloody Valentine and Main, it's a simply stunning way to begin an equally stunning album. Many of the songs take a generally quieter approach before fully turning on the riff action. Two good examples are "Tantric Porno," where things are more understatedly shuffled before pumping up the volume and riff-out in the midsection, and the similarly paced "Yellow Turban," with its slow, downward crawl and wonderful guitar from the Gibbons brothers, alternately watery, weird, loud, and crumbling. Another song of note in this vein is the floating "Rumination," sounding not dissimilar at points to the crystalline melancholy also explored by labelmate and future collaborator Roy Montgomery. Otherwise, it's tune-up and zone-out to the max. "The High Frequency," for instance, steps away from lyrical meaning by burying what sounds like a random selection of spoken word snippets deep in the mix, just letting that wash of sound do what it does. Final number "RM" lets Sollenberger more clearly contribute her flute to the proceedings, while in general, whipping a last conclusive blast of sound to close out an astonishing and inspiring album.
Review by Ned Raggett, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. Limerick (10:21)
02. Sentence (05:08)
03. Tantric Porno (06:13)
04. Wank (05:28)
05. the high frequency (06:52)
06. Sometimes Words (04:38)
07. Yellow Turban (07:38)
08. Rumination (06:22)
09. Be A Fish (04:42)
10. Tapir Song (07:32)
11. RM (09:18)


Lapsed (1997)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 368 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 124 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 210-2 | Time: 00:47:40 | Scans included
“With each successive album, Bardo Pond continues to reshape and refine their monolithic sound, drawing ever closer to the oxymoronic ideal of controlled chaos that their brand of supreme noise seems to promise. Lapsed doesn't reach that holy grail, but it takes the group to a new level regardless, expanding into new dimensions of cacophony while sharpening the focus of their music to reflect an increasing emphasis on shape and form; the tension between the melodies of songs like "Pick My Brain," "Flux," and the epic closer "Aldrin" and the feverish blasts of noise which ultimately erupt from them is electrifying. The achievement of Lapsed is that for the first time, it's possible not merely to get lost in Bardo Pond's music, but to let it actually lead you somewhere as well -- certainly a trip well worth taking.
Review by Jason Ankeny, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. Tommy Gun Angel (05:15)
02. Pick My Brain (06:43)
03. Flux (09:07)
04. Anandamide (02:23)
05. Green Man (06:26)
06. Straw Dog (03:23)
07. Aldrin (14:19)


Set And Setting (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 347 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 127 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Matador | # OLE 364-2 | Time: 00:49:11 | Scans included
“The broken-down blues of Bardo Pond might just alter the world. The cilia-pulling strains of Set and Setting become utterly more infectious with each new spin. It's as though Bardo Pond is tugging the earth into their psychedelic orbit without anyone's knowledge or consent. The band is at their most effective on instrumental cuts like "Datura" and the violin-based "Cross Current." Here, sounds get their most stretched out and visual. On the whole, Set and Setting is another cohesive step forward, a slow parade of seductive experimentation and noise that crawls on rock's foundation and doesn't care what anyone thinks. This description could also apply to some of Sonic Youth's better music. Imagine then, Sonic Youth strewn across the desert on blotter acid; Set and Setting probably sounds something like that.
Review by Matt Kantor, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. Walking Stick Man (11:01)
02. This Time (So Fucked) (04:00)
03. Datura (08:02)
04. Again (06:33)
05. Lull (02:16)
06. Cross Current (06:36)
07. Crawl Away (09:26)
08. #3 (01:14)


Cypher Documents Vol. 1 (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 475 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 182 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Three Lobed Recordings | # TLR 013 | Time: 01:15:29 | Scans included
“Slapstick mystic Tom Robbins wrote that human bodies are actually vehicles for water to travel on land. There could be a grain of truth there, as understood from listening to hours of Bardo Pond in one sitting. The Philadelphians cannot kick their habit of playing blues that floats among the streets after the Earth sunk underneath the sea. The Brothers Gibbons don't strum their guitars as much as shaking off distortion to let their notes dry; Ed Farnsworth's trapkit desperately flails a waterfall and gasps for air; Clint Takeda's two-chord basslines ground the chaos on earth in a codeine slumber; and Isobel Sollenberger gives CPR breaths with her prayers in tongue.
Cypher Documents I amasses six MP3s that Bardo Pond released monthly on its Hummingbird Mountain website for free between 1999 and 2000. Neophytes now have the opportunity to pay $13.95 for the goods. These tracks are mainly jams that gaze at their fingernails, but what the music beholds can barely be described by the King's English. There are almost no peaks or resolutions save for when the thinly-oiled machines collapse from entropy. In a way, Cypher marks a transition between Set and Setting and Dilate, although the band stills recycles its cauldron-boiled thrash-blues formula. Little progression here, but that doesn't matter.
Opener "Living Testament" (released on the 2002 comp, Get Your Pots Out) is vintage Bardo Pond. Takeda and the Gibbons cough up soot while delivering their ohms to the heavens as Sollenberger murmurs and agonizes over migraines. One curious tune is "Slag"-- a near-marvel of fumigation-rock. The guitars mechanically blow steam, grind out a downer blues, blow steam, grind, and so on. It is a great idea for a hit-and-run minute, but grows rather cumbersome over four. The best from the mire is "Black Turban", featuring a guitar solo that stumbles around in circles to see God's thousand faces, while another guitar shimmers a drone that tell the onlookers to not worry as the good Lord is working in mysterious ways. One of the Gibbons then spends the final three minutes tapping his strings as if trying to slap the divine one awake.
Cypher's finest moments are when the band simply breathes. "Nomad" is a pleasant stroll across a moonless plain with specks of yellow phospherent lights on the horizon. Sollenberger's violin veers by like a distant train, while Takeda's low bass tones are akin to covering your ears to hear your bloodstream. "Quiet Tristin" is just as haunting where the guitars are left to dangle on a lone tree surrounded by draught-cracked pools. The finale, "From the Sky" is a 31-minute psych-blues sketch projected on a two-story wall that can be a public safety hazard when played on a freeway drive. The auto-pilot groove floats in midair, while the guitars bite the surface, draw blood and skitter away-- all capable of knocking you into a daze. It's a peculiar sound.
Review by Cameron Macdonald, Pitchfork.com

Tracklist:
01. Living Testament (07:35)
02. Slag (04:54)
03. Nomad (05:35)
04. Quiet Tristin (06:23)
05. YaYaYaYa (06:48)
06. Black Turban (13:01)
07. From The Sky (31:09)


Purposeful Availment (2002) EP
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 178 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 77 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Label: Three Lobed Recordings | # TLR 005 | Time: 00:31:05
“Three Lobed Recordings has started a CDEP series much like the widely-known Temporary Residence series, Travel in Constants, that has recently started its second installment. As you'd expect, Three Lobed (who in the past released a Bardo Pond 10" and the CD of the Bardo Pond side project, Prairie Dog Flesh) has included Bardo Pond and several like-minded bands (Tarentel, Idyyl Swords, etc.) in the series. The first set mailed out were Bardo Pond and Six Organs of Admittance. Both of these bands are of the highest quality; Bardo Pond have been releasing exciting records for years, and Six Organs of Admittance just released their second album, which is an absolute masterpiece.
Bardo Pond have offered up a new slab of sludge that shows them exploring two of their sides at their strongest. "Orange Horse" is a gem lifted from the vaults (it's a leftover from 'Lapsed'), centered on a riff and peppered with Isobel's unintelligible moans. The EP hasn't really even begun until you get into the second track, "Thalay Sugar." At an epic 24 minutes, it shifts and crawls from light ambience tones to wah-ed grooves with a few moments of saxophone! I can count the number of bands who use saxophone in a way I like on one finger (Bright), but this track shows me I'll have to grudgingly start using two.
The Six Organs of Admittance EP follows the new album, Dark Noontide perfectly and serves as a nice companion. It's a single 19 minute meditation that shifts between the various moods and areas Ben Chasny explored on Dark Noontide. I have a hard time putting the music into words with Six Organs of Admittance, but his use of delicately picked and heavily attacked acoustic guitar, bowed cymbal, crooning chant, electric guitar, tone swells, and other various noises all combine to create a mess of swirling bliss.
If you missed out on the subscription, I'm sorry. You should have been smarter. However, there are a few stores selling these, and they have shown up on eBay a few times. Do what you can to get a copy.
Review by Sean Hammond, Fakejazz.com

Tracklist:
01. Orange Horse (06:52)
02. Thalay Sagar (Tortures Torture) (24:13)


On The Ellipse (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 374 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 133 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: ATP Recordings | # ATPR CD 6 | Time: 00:53:10 | Scans included
“Another triumph, Bardo Pond's On the Ellipse proves that the band doesn't have to drastically change their music from album to album to keep it sounding fresh. Much like their former labelmates Mogwai, they continue to top themselves even if they're no longer among the most fashionable vanguard of underground rock. This album, Bardo Pond's sixth proper full-length, manages to be more abstract than 2001's Dilate, but it's just as accessible as that album, emphasizing the beauty of Isobel Sollenberger's vocals and flutes, as well as the restrained power of the band's formidable guitars and rhythm section. On the Ellipse is a much moodier experience, however, with most of its six songs hovering on the edge of reflective sadness and something darker. The outstanding album opener "JD" is an instant career highlight. Beginning with a relentless drone that switches between harsh and beautiful as it unfurls, the song lures the listener with five minutes of gentle acoustic guitars and Sollenberger's dreamy, brooding singing before unleashing a quintessentially Bardo Pond onslaught of distortion and drums. It's true that this description applies to most of the album -- and, indeed, most of the band's catalog -- but Pond remains the master of finding different ways to use extreme dynamics. "Dom's Lament" subtly shifts from quiet to loud while exploring the textures of its silken flutes, craggy guitars, and the quietly crisp drumming that holds it all together. The radiant, vaguely Indian "Test" floats on dense clouds of guitars and distant but powerful drums, lending it a beautiful but somewhat apocalyptic feel. "Every Man," a seven-minute epic, follows the more usual subdued brooding/slow-burning noise formula of the band's work, but the spare loveliness of its quiet sections and the washes of flutes in its louder parts reaffirm that nobody does stoned melancholy better than Pond. While the last third of On the Ellipse isn't as strong as the rest of the album, the post-modern hippie atmospherics of "Walking Clouds" and the dense, dour "Nights of Frogs" -- which recalls the band's Lapsed-era work -- don't detract from its hypnotic pull. While this album isn't radically different from the rest of Pond's work, the fact that it offers more of their compelling, challenging music is reason enough to celebrate it.
Review by Heather Phares, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. JD (07:24)
02. Every Man (08:59)
03. Dom's Lament (06:45)
04. Test (09:51)
05. Walking Clouds (07:12)
06. Night of Frogs (12:56)


Selections - Volumes I-IV (2005) 2CD
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 800 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 320 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: ATP Recordings | # ATPR CD14 | Time: 02:11:27 | Scans included
“Hip-hop has mixtapes while modern psychedelia has the limited-edition CD-ROM release -- the same principle applies, though, in terms of getting music out there, beyond "official" efforts as such. Bardo Pond are up through six collections of experiments and jams as of mid-2005, with Selections, Vol. 1-4 being just that, a sampling of the first four of these often-wonderful releases. Given that Bardo Pond's raisons d'etre are indeed long improvisations recorded as they happen, it's not entirely a sudden steering away in style, but this two-disc collection generally emphasizes the strictly musical side of the band, with Isobel Sollenberger contributing only fragmentary lyrics or gentle croons on the singing front (her flute work is often prominent, in contrast). Where she does come more to the fore, as with "E Dub," she can provide an almost startling focus to the compositions, but she is more content here to go with the flow, or rather, to be carried along with it. Starting with the sample-laden, slow-and-low "Sit Sleep," Selections, Vol. 1-4 touches on everything from (relatively) short edits to extremely long, detailed jams. If anything, the collection shows that far from simply having a one-note approach, the quintet can take basic principles and use them to test out a variety of approaches towards doing one's brain in, from monstrous demi-metal riffs to near-minimalist flow and hum. The ten-minute "Before," for instance, relies on an ominous mantra/melody crossed with violent solos and steady, increasingly forceful drumming, while "Montana Sacra" has its core drone acting as a base for a series of squalling if still restrained acid rock solos, a continual trading off. "Lomand" probably shows the most variety over its own length, from majestic descending riffs and drones to seemingly endless drift.
Review by Ned Raggett, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
CD1:
01. Sit Sleep (08:24)
02. Cymbals (07:58)
03. Before (10:06)
04. Precious Metal (07:53)
05. Alien Heat (09:21)
06. Montana Sacra (15:39)
07. Heaven (04:34)
CD2:
01. E Dub (08:59)
02. Tanked (04:56)
03. Lomand (15:59)
04. Take What You Need (05:53)
05. New Drunks (09:18)
06. Narmada (19:23)
07. Pangolin Dance (02:59)


Ticket Crystals (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 549 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 190 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: ATP Recordings | # ATPR CD21 | Time: 01:17:14 | Scans included
“Philadelphia spectral travelers Bardo Pond had already gotten into some pretty heavy trips by the time their decidedly gentler sixth album, Ticket Crystals, arrived in 2006. While still brimming with sludgy psychedelic guitar work and mountainous percussion, Isobel Sollenberger's flute playing becomes the unexpected focal point of many of these extended jams, and the delay-laden textures spilling out of it demand more space than, say, a ripping seven-minute guitar solo. The entire album is drenched in dubby reverb and delay, tucking its more menacing tones in layers of starlit musical wandering and resonating the most on subdued numbers like the sprawling "Isle" and a hazy reading of the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry."
Review by Fred Thomas, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. Destroying Angel (09:38)
02. Isle (11:13)
03. Lost Word (06:29)
04. Cry Baby Cry (04:56)
05. FCII (18:16)
06. Moonshine (10:45)
07. Endurance (05:09)
08. Montana Sacra II (10:46)


Adrop (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 203 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 85 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Three Lobed Recordings | # TLR 022 | Time: 00:33:49 | Scans included
“Having overseen the Modern Containment series of releases on their Three Lobed Recordings label, it makes sense that Bardo Pond would contribute an entry of their own, thus the release of Adrop. Interestingly, it parallels their earlier 2006 release Bardo Pond Presents: Sublimation in being more of a self-contained compilation of recordings done by different incarnations of the group rather than as specific separate group or solo projects. Divided into three parts but mastered as one long track, each section blending into the next, only the second part, "The Rebis," features the full five-person version of the band as it stands. Isobel Sollenberger concentrates on violin this time around, while guitarists and brothers John and Michael Gibbons and the crack rhythm team of Clint Takeda and Ed Farnsworth create another powerful, looming crunch through their near patented brand of sludge rock. Opening the disc is "Invisible Fire," which consists of the Gibbons brothers, Takeda and, interestingly, drummer Jason Kourkonis instead of Farnsworth. Perhaps even more perversely, John Gibbons is credited as playing "cumbus," but whatever salacious associations are implied, the piece is a low-key and open-ended exploration of sound, Kourkonis adding a variety of fills and hits here and there as drone guitar parts and buried noise squalls fill out the remainder of the mix. Concluding Adrop is "Latona," featuring Sollenberger on flute and, in a nice switch, the Gibbons brothers on acoustic guitars and percussion. It provides a gentle, calm end to an enjoyable disc; if not one of Bardo's most essential releases it still shows the group in fine overall form.
Review by Ned Raggett, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. Adrop: Part 1) Invisible Fire, Part 2) The Rebis, Part 3) Latona (33:49)

Circuit VIII (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 264 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 110 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Three Lobed Recordings | # TLR 046 | Time: 00:43:58 | Scans included
“Circuit VII is a massive, forty-four minute cosmic exploration by the Bardo Pond configuration of Michael Gibbons, John Gibbons, Clint Takeda, Isobel Sollenberger and Jason Kourkounis.”
Tracklist:
01. Circuit VIII (43:58)

Yntra (2012)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 256 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 90 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Latitudes | # GMT 0:29 | Time: 00:35:27 | Scans included
“Philadelphia space rock institution Bardo Pond's particular breed of psychedelic guitar rock always relied on feelings of dread more than the blissed-out tones of their more lighthearted contemporaries. Throughout the late '90s when Flying Saucer Attack were offering hushed late-night shoegaze textures and the Kranky roster was dreaming up contemplative tapestries of ambient-leaning indie rock, Bardo Pond were dealing in bad trips, doomy imagery, and drug-damaged jam sessions. With Yntra, their contribution to the Southern Records spinoff label series Latitudes, Bardo Pond sound heavier than usual, with three long-form jams recorded at Southern studios when the band was passing through London. Album opener "The Crawl" does just that, stretching in an anguished creep from radio static to a full-force psychedelic drone, with vocalist Isobel Sollenberger's buried howls falling in between busy guitar gurgles. The sounds push forward into menace, and there's a sense that the bandmembers are dropping crumbs along the path so they can find their way back out of the darkness, but by the song's conclusion it's clear there's no way back. "Side to Side" finds the band channeling some serious Black Sabbath energy with the heaviest, most distorted piece of the set. Album closer "A Crossing" is mellower, and drags a honey-covered bassline into a 20-minute space rock vortex that sounds like a blurrier, warmer Hawkwind. Bardo Pond's long-running history has seen them gelling into a force to be reckoned with, and the fervor of their sound isn't something that a lot of young bands can aspire to immediately. With Yntra, they sound entirely at home in their craft, and more comfortable with the bummer vibes and crushing sounds than in their already spun-out early days.
Review by Fred Thomas, Allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01. The Crawl (07:02)
02. Side to Side (07:55)
03. A Crossing (20:30)


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