Review: In The Ponds ‘Fever Canyon’ EP
Having fallen hard for In the Ponds brand of ambient post-rock goodness when I reviewed their debut EP Polar Night in October 2022, I was therefore grateful to the boss man for giving me the heads up on this their follow-up release, the Fever Canyon EP. About Polar Night I said at the time that ‘the hypnotic and contemplative nature of the music affords it an emotional core and personal touch rarely, if ever, seen in the genre’ and this is still a sentiment that holds true all these months later.
For those unaware of the band, they are a married couple from San Jose California comprised of David Perez on guitar and Jennifer Gigantino on bass, with the project evolving over the course of the pandemic. There had to be some positives garnered from that dismal time surely? Considering the EP’s title, the artwork, which bassist Gigantino created, matches it perfectly, albeit with a more enigmatic twist; what with the floating object hovering ominously above said canyon.
What strikes me from the off is the blissfully ambient yet heavy blues of The Lost City that sounds ideally suited to a Sergio Leone directed spaghetti western when Clint Eastwood (aka the man with no name) rides into a nameless desert town whose inhabitants look on with a mixture of both suspicion and intrigue. It’s absolutely beautiful and if ever that trilogy were to be re-scored (for whatever reason), then In the Ponds would be the perfect heir to Ennio Morricone’s throne to do so. If Betty Benedeadly’s work strikes a chord with you, then there’s every chance you’ll be on board with this number.
In the Ponds would be the perfect heir to Ennio Morricone’s throne…
With Windmill Blades, it’s like the spirit of Hendrix writ large from around the time of Axis: Bold As Love (his best album in my opinion) as there is some brilliant playing from Perez, who is more than equally matched by Gigantino, as she provides a sturdy bass backdrop for her husband’s flights of fancy. There is psychedelia dotted in along the way, as well as some cool ass acid rock, which both serve to enhance the band’s unique take on the post-rock genre. Palm Desert bands such as Yawning Man and Fatso Jetson also spring to mind while listening to the track, a truly entrancing piece that is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.
Making Time has some surf flourishes to it and a feeling not wholly unlike a lullaby, or even a sweet ‘50s style doo wop ballad. I could even envisage it being used on David Lynch’s Blue Velvet or an episode of Twin Peaks (the first series), hell even the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance in Back to the Future. Oriental influences later come to the fore that help draw the EP to an exotic conclusion.
The accompanying promotional notes promise that the tracks on Fever Canyon evoke the band’s time on ‘long-ass road trips through the American Southwest’ and as someone who is not a fan of driving for long periods, I would imagine that such journeys come with little in the way of visual stimulation and require some kind of aural distraction to help keep you engaged, and more importantly awake. Having listened to Fever Canyon multiple times I can say with confidence that this is delivered, making for what is yet another winning release for In The Ponds. I look forward to potentially covering the next EP whenever it drops.
Label: Entelodon Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Scribed by: Reza Mills