To tide fans over between 1994's cult favorite BUFO ALVARIUS and 1996's Matador Records debut, AMANITA, Bardo Pond issued this collection of transitional out-takes. Less a proper album than a stopgap offering, BIG LAUGHING JYM is no less essential to any Pond addict craving one more fix of the group's sludgy, psychedelic sound. "Dispersion" and "Clearhead," whirlpools of bass, feedback-clogged flute, and John and Michael Gibbons' high-dosage, irradiated guitars, are definitive Pond.
"Champ" offers a bewitching blend of light and dark as group siren Isobel Sollenberger (also the Pond's signature flautist) sings her way through a barbed-wire cyclone. One of the Bardo boys joins her on the monstrously beautiful "Soaked," a drugged-out and heavy-lidded paean to the joys of semi-consciousness. Finally, JYM revisits the Pond's seminal pre-BUFO ALVARIUS singles with a howling "Hummingbird Mountain II (A Return Trip)" and the stumbling trip of "Dragonfly."