"Lapsed", The latest from Bardo Pond is possibly the most far reaching statement I've heard from these Philadelphians to date. With "Tommy Gun Angel" all cylinders are firing from the get-go. The monolithic wall of noise of the brothers Gibbons and bassist, Clint Takeda, is in full effect here as Isobel's celestial vocals comfortably soar above the molten sludge. It's all very disorienting and truly splendid under the proper outside stimuli, though none is required. Then there's "Pick My Brain" with it's acoustic guitar slowly drowned in more slathering grooves, which continues the decent into lysergia even further. Bardo Pond's secret is nothing new. They're masters of the riff, that one titanic riff that swells for what seems like hours (Green Man, Flux) while surrounded by an alien feedback roar that brings to mind Skullflower and F 5 tornados, among other things. The one hinge of reality that seems to hold it all in tact to a certain degree is Joe Culver's percussion. Propelling each number further towards the abysmal plane, Culver's whirlwind style on the traps never lets an idea grow stale. This is the stuff of long journeys into that ever-present void (or across the west Texas desert, take your pick), and it's all done very well indeed. I think I like this one more than last year's "Amanita", and considering the monster that was, then you know you need this.
[Written by Lee Jackson for Broken Face. Reprinted without permission.]