Tuesday, October 11, 2011
POLAR BEAR CLUB: CLASH BATTLE GUILT PRIDE
Plodding... That's the best way to describe New Yorkers Polar Bear Club's third full length Clash Battle Guilt Pride. Or perhaps thoughtful is a better adjective. At first, I was worried they'd taken that inevitable step towards "greatness". An upcoming November UK stadium tour with Tom Morello and dreary Chicago rockers Rise Against wasn't encouraging...
But slowly, Clash Battle Guilt Pride reaches boiling point, loosening up and shaking off like an old fashioned post-hibernation stretch (do polar bears hibernate?). The power kicks back into the vocals, the tunes settle on your brain and the riffs get bigger and bigger. Eventually, I found something to hang on to.
Closing track "3-4 Tango" is a tattoo waiting to happen. "Religion On the Radio" is an anthem the first time you wrap your ears around it. And "I'll Never Leave New York" is catchy as fuck. Really, it sounds like they've saved the best for last, sneaking all the best tunes in towards the end of the album.
As song writers, Polar Bear Club have come a long way. They've lost a few teeth (and claws) along the way, but they haven't lost the feeling. If anything, they've injected even more emotion and intensity into their songs. And overall, Clash Battle Guilt Pride is their strongest (and most addictive) album to date. Amping...
"Living Saints," from their previous album Chasing Hamburg (bit slack on the music video front there Polar Bears)