Old friends

Bardo Pond has been releasing albums for almost as long as I've been writing A&A. I reviewed the first Bardo Pond album way back in 1995, and now I'm catching up again. Most appropriately, the band is on Fire Records, which is home to a lot of the reconstituted modestly-successful "alternative" bands of the 1980s and 90s. Did I mention that I love Fire Records?

Bardo Pond
Peace on Venus
(Fire Records)

I'm 43 years old, so of course I do. And since I am 43, I love this new Bardo Pond effort. Is it revolutionary? Is the band trying something new? Is there any reason for, say, a 25-year-old to check it out? Of course not. But that doesn't mean it sucks. Rather, this compendium of turgid riffage, squalling noise and ear hair-shredding feedback is pretty much what Bardo Pond has been doing all along. If you dig it, great. If not, go home. I like that in a band. While I am also partial to the failed masterpiece, there's something comforting in knowing exactly what you're going to hear when you hit play. I'm sure this reads like a backhanded complement, but old guys like me appreciate getting our ear hairs shredded now and again. Beats yanking the fuckers out with tweezers. But seriously, there is something to be said for doing what you do well--and continuing to find interesting ways to do what you do well. These new songs have pounded their way into my primitive brain, and I imagine they'll stick around for a while. This is the perfect music for holing up in a cave. Turn it up to 11 and let its slimy goodness seep into your soul. Do not play this around the kids. It will scare them, and they will wonder about your sanity. On the other hand, that's a perfect reason for playing this around the kids. Children are much easier to control when they're scared—and moreso when they are worried about the sanity of one or more parents. So maybe this new(ish) Bardo Pond will find a new audience: parents of school-age children. It's time to scare the bastards straight. Frighten them away from their Imagine Dragons and such and force the moppets into lives of juvenile delinquency. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. Thank you, Bardo Pond! Once again, you have inspired ideas that will change the world.

Jon Worley

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