In the 20-plus years that they have been active, Bardo Pond have found a means of production that works, and they are sticking with it. Rather than slyly hide the influence that psychedelic substances have on their music, they choose to embrace and use it. That influence is what leads to the slow, shoegazey grooves that define their songs; each track, whether it be closer to five or 10 minutes in length (or even approaching half an hour like some of their previous releases) becomes a long, drowsy swim in a steel tank full of blazing fuzz. They record pieces as they are felt in the studio, with the listener feeling them again on the other side.
If my mother were to listen to Peace On Venus, I am sure that her biggest complaint would be that “all of the songs sound the same.” Of course, she would base that statement purely on the fact that the tracks are all built on the same things: Surrounding guitars, haunting vocals, and an occasional flute solo. She wouldn’t pay much attention to the varying and well-constructed melodies, the layered guitars, or even the fact that that’s usually how it works for a band like this. In short, my mother would be completely wrong about this album. Each of the five songs has its own rawness to it, and “Before The Moon” is one that can only be described as beautiful. It’s climactic, powerfully forlorn, and way the hell out there.
For fans of the psychedelic/shoegaze genre, this is probably a pretty standard release. However, Peace On Venus could easily convert those who never look downwards into believers. Hey mom, I have something for you to listen to.
In A Word: Explosive