Every couple of years, some enterprising local music writer or another (raises hand) does a piece on the then-present status of Psychedelphia — that is, the organic and cyclical musical churn that produces a whole new crop of totally tripped-out Philly bands every five-to-eight years. By simple long division, Bardo Pond has been ripping straight on through anywhere from 3-5 of these scenes, and they’ll be around probably for just as many more. (While we’re on this tangent, let’s list the three that every Philadelphian ought to have passing familiarity with: 1991: O.G. Philly acid Rodman Street psych; 1997: Philly “mod” psych; 2004: Philly New Weird America psych.)
It is a scene, I can tell you, that is not noted for its durabililty. Bands come and go in any scene, but Philly psych bands generally evaporate before their first record. All of this is a testament to where Bardo Pond find themselves upon the release of Under The Pines, their 11th studio LP release among a larger discography that is now so large as to be worthy of someone’s dissertation: It’s a killer bong rip of a record and it sounds, to these ears, as fresh as the band has ever sounded. No calcification here: The guitars break up with an across-the-room immediacy, Isobel Sollenberger’s lady-Reed-isms cut across with the kind of rock-laconic vibe nobody else is ever off of social media long enough to do convincingly, and man, let me tell ya, when the flute cuts in, it’s not a flute: It is the clear beautiful blue temporary room inside of a wave.
So yeah: Bands come and go. But twenty-six years in, Bardo Pond just keeps comin’.
With Sparrow Steeple and Eric Arn. Tickets available here.