Nicholas Allbrook

Pure Gardiya Is a Staggering Work of Beauty

Ex-Tame Impala bassist/current Pond frontman Nicholas Allbrook’s second solo foray is a staggering work of beauty, bringing to mind early 1970s David Bowie (circa The Man Who Sold the World and Hunky Dory) in terms of fearless exploration. The prog-rock-tinged “Advance” is a wonderfully skewed parody of Australia’s grandiose national anthem “Advance Australia Fair,” and “A Fool There Was” can trace its dissonant lineage to The Velvet Underground’s harrowing “The Black Angel’s Death Song.” “Mauerbauertraurigkeit” is this album’s emotional zenith, while the Francophonic, piano- and cello-driven “Deer” closes nicely. Contrasted with Kevin Parker’s last humdrum Tame Impala release (the underwhelming Currents), Allbrook’s Pure Gardiya is an avant-garde masterpiece. In sum, Allbrook might just be the most intriguing contemporary Australian musician alive.

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