Saturday, 14 May 2016

BARDO POND - Dilate


Bardo Pond is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jason Kourkunis -  Drums
Clint Takeda - Bass
John Gibbons - Guitar
Michael Gibbons - Guitar
Isobel Sollenberger - Vocals

It took a looong time for me to 'get' Bardo Pond, admittedly I was just coming out of a funeral doom or bust phase and was thankfully broadening my horizons to other genres including jam and psychedelic bands, but unlike groups such as Earthless, or Tia Carrera, Bardo Pond didn't play the endless jams that I craved. Then I latched onto the 'Dilate' album and something clicked. Maybe it was the acid drenched riffs of the opener 'Two Planes' or Isobel Sollenberger's haunting, stoned, vocals. Anyway, turn the clock forward ten years and twenty three releases later, 'Dilate' remains my favourite Bardo Pond album. 

So, what makes 'Dilate'stand out? Well, first off, its your typical Bardo Pond album, a mixture of mainly slow paced, acidic neo-psychedelia, but man, the tracks on here are DRENCHED in acid, the Gibbons brothers spraying it around by the bucketload. First track, the aforementioned 'Two Planes' sets the tone, opening with a slow, almost space pulse beat, which then typically for this album, morphs into a caustic jam and continues on to one of the heaviest tracks on the album 'Sunrise'. 'Insider' is another slow builder with a harsh jam in the middle of it accompanied by Isobel Sollenberger's strangely dispassionate vocals. Again, typically, Bardo Pond treats the listener to one or two folky tracks, provided this time by 'Swig' and 'Despite the Roar' before we are back on the fuzz with the surprisingly uptempo 'Lb.' My favourite track on the album is the final one, the meandering, magnificent, 'Ganges' which more than any other Bardo Pond song, reminds me of one of the many side projects, Alasehir.

If you don't know the band, then 'Dilate' is the perfect introduction to a spiritual world you thought you could only ever dream about.