I don't know if this is a debut record,
or a sophomore effort, or what. What I do know is that this
record is very intriguing and makes me want to hear more.
The Pondering has released an album that not only lives up
to my expectations for a band from South Carolina, but exceeds
them in many respects. A visit to the label's website informs
me that the Pondering are a ROCKFUNKGROOVE quartet, which
is a label that I will not dispute. Reminiscent of a much
more consistent Everything, this album is laced with catchy
tunes ready to pull you in and demand your attention. Overwhelmingly
well produced for a small label, No Ordinary Bitch contains
not only great songs, but great sounds. The sweet, swirling
sounds of B3-esque organs and the crisp snap of one of the
best snare drums I've heard all year, contribute to how great
this record is.
"Bitter End" begins the album with
3:08 of the finest funky rock since G. Love's last effort.
It's a song that each of us can understand on some level,
about mistakes and not being able to forget. "Fall Apart Again"
contains all the elements of a radio single, from a catchy,
danceable rhythm to the well-presented vocals. " I-I should
have known better, I-I didn't read your letter, I-I'm gonna
fall apart again." Some real nice B-3 here, too! "Let Me Down"
takes the album to the next level, transcending the fun-time
funk rock with a more serious song, featuring some fantastic
vocal harmonies. The Pondering lays back into the groove a
little more lightly with "No Ordinary Bitch," an obvious title
for an easily understood song. "All I Need" is probably my
favorite. Sporting lyrics like "I'd like to meet you in another
life, only to hear the words that you could never say, too
much to talk about, we can't forget anything that we have
said, that's the way I feel..." and a catchy college rock
vibe. "Superfly" is a nice groove song with some fantastic
keyboard and bass work. I don't think it lives up to it's
namesake, but good on it's own merit. "Without Words" is a
nice song with some very nice, mellow saxophone work. This
song really showcases the versatility of this band, and fits
more into my notion of SC bands. Just under 3 minutes of acoustic
strumming and tight production endear "You Weren't There"
to my ears, and the lyrics have universal appeal. "Cry" brings
everything back up to an almost Stevie Wonder type of groove.
Very nice organ and bass work make this song stand out, and
the great chorus further distinguishes it. The Stevie vibe
continues with "Say That's So," a rhythmically interesting
track, including some nice harmonies. "King of Want You" attempts
to take me to New Orleans with horns and a zydeco feel, and
more than makes up for its simplicity in it's effort to get
The Pondering has collected a group of
songs that are easily identified with, and fun to listen to.
If you are a fan of well-produced pop songs, without major
label glitz, you will like this record. A part of me wishes
that I didn't, but I just can't help myself. (HEY! Don't forget
to check out www.6milerecords.com for one of the finest websites
I've seen this year)
– David DeVoe
1. Bitter End
2. Fall Apart Again
3. Let Me Down (radio edit)
4. No Ordinary Bitch
5. All I Need
7. Without Words
8. You Weren't There
10. Say That's So
11. King Of Want You
12. Let Me Down (full version)