Tame Impala vs. Pond by Kristen Prossner
We are all pretty much aware of Tame Impala and its awesomeness; if you’re like me, “Elephant” (from last year’s album Lonerism), is a go-to song to sing in the shower. This “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock” band is catchy and fun in a not-so-in-your-face way, and all the surrounding hype seems appropriate. No one is forcing you to have a good time, it just comes naturally. Another band also released an album last year called Beards, Wives, Denim. This band is also from Perth, Australia, really into that psychedelic sound, and even has had three members with the exact same names as members of Tame Impala (Kevin Parker, Jay Watson, Nick Allbrook). Freak Coincidence? I wish. Illuminati conspiracy? Probably. Dragging out this joke with rhetorical questions? Nah. Indeed, this band shares three of its members with Tame Impala and could possibly be categorized as the band members’ “side project” or “associative band”. I’ll leave the choice up to you. So if both have this sort of trippy sound, what’s the difference? I believe a main difference is the eras in which you could be persuaded to place the two bands. Pond, using Beard, Wives, Denim as evidence, sounds like they’re coming straight out of the 60’s. They could have easily been the openers for Jefferson Airplane or the Zombies back in the day; this especially can be said for Pond’s sound in “Moth Wings” and “Sorry I Was Under The Sky”. However, their style still incorporates a more modern sound that can be heard in a lot of Tame Impala’s work. Tame Impala definitely sounds like they are from this era and have been largely influenced by the psychedelia of the past. Not that it’s a bad thing. Pond sounds a little grungier and earthy. Tame Impala sounds slightly gentler and more outer-space sounding. (Spoiler: It’s because they’re aliens.) The other main difference I found is the essence of Tame Impala compared to that of Pond. Having read some bios on each band, Pond appears to be much more dynamic and eclectic; the basis of its creation was so that members could come and go and be able to play whatever they want, whenever they want. It’s more of a collaboration of artists and ideas rather than a concrete band; at least, that’s my take on Pond’s description. However, that’s not to say Tame Impala is an uptight and demanding group. I think it just has different goals and ways to achieve those goals. Maybe Pond is sort of an outlet for Tame Impala members? Maybe Tame Impala is an outlet for Pond members? Regardless, it’s evident both bands influence each other. 5
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