Lapsed LP/CD

Bardo Pond's third full-length album is a massive agglomeration of psychedelic mucous, a dense morass of sculpted noise that is distributed in deliberate, protracted auditory assaults for maximal effect. More extended jams than songs, the seven tracks that comprise Lapsed exist in a gelatinous universe of colliding, atmospheric guitar effects, languid drumbeats, sonorous bass, ethereal vocals and, occasionally, singer Isobel Sollenberger's vaporous flute. Most of the time, these exercises become deliciously seductive meditations, as in the eerily hypnotic "Flux;" the feedback drenched "Tommy Gun Angel," the spastic, sprawling "Straw Dog," or the intoxicating "Pick My Brain," which features a mesmerising slide guitar. Oddly enough, Bardo Pond's less auspicious experiments seem to occur when the players concentrate on investigating too many ideas, instead of wringing a few themes to the breaking point. Lapsed is truly a splendid case of less being more.

—Paul Mergler

[This review originally appeared in Exclaim!, February 1998. The review used to be available online, but Exclaim! seems to have disappeared. Reprinted without permission.]

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