BAD LIQUOR POND - Blue Smoke Orange Sky

Bad Liquor Pond - Blue Smoke Orange Sky

11 songs
45:05 minutes
***** ***


It’s been more than three years since I reviewed Bad Liquor Pond’s second longplayer Radiant Transmission. Since then, the Maryland psyche rockers kept a rather low profile and only released a seven-inch single in 2009. The long wait is over now with their third album Blue Smoke Orange Sky which saw the light of day in early January this year.

Bad Liquor Pond are basically a duo consisting of Dave Gibson and Poridge Blackwell, but they had the help of some musicians on their newest effort. Stylistically, not that much has changed. The band is still into their unadulterated blend of retro sounds consisting of hazy psychedelia, tripped out shoegaze and touches of Americana. Even though the songs would seem to pass no drug test, they have still been confined to concise lengths, never escalating into never ending stoner jams, instead focusing all of their energies into good songwriting. Only the concluding Nothing Surreal dares to slightly make it over six minutes.

The main instruments are of course guitar, bass and drums. Additional parts of keyboards, sitar, violin, recorder, piano, percussion, melodic and harmonium help to give the songs an even fuller sound. The opener The Crescent Ship for instants sounds like The Doors trying successfully their luck with garage rock, while New Reality comes with a really amazing recorder solo! Even though it would be too much to expect originality from this genuine retro band, the authenticity of their performance is enough to allow Blue Smoke Orange Sky to transcend any quality doubts. Add to this the warm and very analogue sounding production, and you feel yourself transported back into the late Sixties when people still had flowers in their hair. Blue Smoke Orange Sky may seem like an anachronism in this digital age, but Bad Liquor Pond’s innocent and touching attitude towards their music should win them many new fans of spirited psychedelia.

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