Bardo Pond – Looking For Another Place

Bardo Pond - Looking For Another Place

Bardo Pond – Looking For Another Place

Whilst it increasingly feels that Record Store Day is being used by bigger labels to eat the hand that feeds – i.e. physical music buyers and independent music retailers – through excessive amounts of exploitative releases at high prices, amongst the hundreds of records crammed into this year’s output there are still things worth fighting for.  This lengthy 2-track vinyl EP from Bardo Pond is certainly one of them. Following on from Rise Above All It – 2013’s RSD covers set which captured remarkable reworkings of Pharoah Sanders and Funkadelic – the psyche-rock quintet deliver the second part of a reinterpretative triptych to herald another day of fevered record-buying.

The first side finds the Philadelphia-based outfit taking on the lesser-known but oft-covered “Ride Into The Sun,” one of several classic Velvet Underground songs that never found a place on an official album during the band’s lifespan.  Whilst the likes of Luna and Throwing Muses have given the song honourable makeovers and several VU takes have appeared on archival releases over the years, this Bardo Pond version is the most expansive celebratory reading to date.  Although opening in an intimate pastoral setting, the piece is soon enlarged into a sublime plugged-in epic, wherein VU’s knack for gloriously repetitive chugging is enveloped – though mindfully not subsumed – with varying waves of noise-rock jamming and Isobel Sollenberger’s yearning lysergic tones.

Equally as enthralling on the flipside, is a mesmeric cover of the title-track from Brian Eno’s solo album Here Come The Warm Jets.  Intriguingly, the Eno version – which sat somewhat awkwardly next to more glam-slanted art-pop numbers elsewhere on the 1974 LP – foretold a lot of latter-day noise-rock aesthetics. Hence, the song fits the Bardo Pond sound easier than one might imagine.  Taking the original’s dense mesh of buried vocals and dreamy fuzz into their own sonic world to be stretched into a 16 minute sprawler, “Here Come The Warm Jets” becomes a My Bloody Valentine-like blur of melody and dissonance par excellence.

Overall then, Looking For Another Place captures Bardo Pond in peak condition and supplies a ray of hope for Record Store Day 2015, when the third release in this covers trilogy is set to surface.

Fire Records