Friday 4 November 2016
INTRODUCING: Creature from Dell Pond
They’re a self-proclaimed ‘supermarket trio’ from Chicago, fronted by a being named Gordon Pond and performing a twisted style of indie rock they dub on Facebook as ‘pondwater’.
Their brand new EP Battered Boyfriend plunges into the topic of domestic abuse, matching tortured lyricism with a tortured guitar sound. Bravely and cathartically drawing from his own personal experience, frontman Gordon vividly paints a picture of life as a victim and the self-deprecating and illogical thoughts that goes through one’s head.
On ‘1811 N Francisco’, stark line ‘I’m calling to tell you that Gordon’s a monster/ He’s going to sleep with your wife’ sees him reflecting his partner’s paranoia over beautifully dissonant chords (of which the whole EP is uniquely made up of). ’32 Regis’ meanwhile takes the lyrical content to even darker territory, the line ‘you’ll end up like your dad hanging dead from a pole’ particularly creating a few chills, whilst instrumentally speeding up and slowing down in a bipolar fashion. And then there’s the two slower ‘1406 N Campbell’ tracks that close the record, the latter’s percussion and guitars eerily building up and then dramatically cutting out, Gordon’s final line being ‘the truth will set me free’ leaving you to frighteningly ponder what he might mean by that.
It’s a spooky, tragic, yet positively therapeutic record, Gordon freeing his psyche of its murkiest thoughts not just for himself but for every other victim of domestic abuse to relate to. There’s even a certain, dare I say it, black humour to it in it’s sheer gristly bluntness.
Those wanting to delve deeper into Creature from Dell Pond’s murky depths can read on for an interview with Gordon himself in which the two of us discuss swamps, Rihanna and, of course, pizza…
If Creature from Dell Pond was a pizza what toppings would it have?
G (Gordon): If we were a pizza it would have lots of milk on it and probably some fish tacos. Nick Alvarez (drums) makes us frozen pizzas all the time so I'll see what we can do about recreating this idea.
What’s the story behind the band name?
G: I was born in a pond and I am a creature of habit.
What inspired Battered Boyfriend? How personal are the lyrics?
G: This record was inspired by events that took place in 2015, and the lyrics are autobiographical. One of the main themes is how domestic violence is primarily recognized as male-on-female violence, and that is a huge issue that everyone needs to be aware about. In addition, there is a lot of female-on-male, male-on-male, female-on-female, etc. violence that occurs every day that is mostly not addressed by society, professionals, etc., and it's taboo to talk about it. For anyone experiencing any type of domestic abuse, Violent Partners by Linda Mills is a great resource.
The tracks are all named after addresses? Do these places all carry a significant meaning?
G: Yes. These addresses represent significant locations in my life, in both the events that have taken place at these locations and the people who reside(ed) there.
The melancholy chord choices that you guys use are really unique. Who are your inspirations?
G: Alex jokes that I write songs using only major seventh chords, which is mostly accurate. Nick listens to a lot of jazz, a lot of improvised music, I know he loves U.S. Maple. Alex is very influenced by early American musical theater. I am really into Speak No Evil by Wayne Shorter at the moment. I think we all love the Chicago band Paper Mice.
What new music are you guys listening to right now? Any upcoming bands that people ought to know about?
G: I just bought the new Deerhoof album, The Magic, and wow, it's incredible. I also purchased Malibu by Anderson Paak and I really enjoy that as well. ANTI - Rihanna has been on heavy rotation, too. Oh, and I know Ryan Power has a new record coming out at some point and I'm anticipating that very much.
Funniest gig story?
G: Nick and Alex kicked me out of the band after a show and uploaded a picture of the two of them on our Facebook page saying to never talk to them about Gordon again because he got so drunk. To this day, I'm still not sure if it was a joke or not.
Would you guys ever consider playing live in a swamp?
G: Of course, swamp water is my natural habitat.
What does the future hold for Creature from Dell Pond?
G: A lot of musty meats and assorted fruits.
Follow Creature from Dell Pond at @thedellcreature