Polar Bear Club released their fourth album ‘Death Chorus’ without an excessive promotional schedule to the world last week, and the anthemic pop punk rockers have come out with a mature but still very signature sounding record. Fans of the band will not be surprised with the growing up/getting older themes to their songs and the sing-a-long parts which are clearly meant for live shows and drives with friends. It does however take a fair few listens to get to the heart of this record.
There are a few instant tracks though. ‘For Show’ has an anthemic chorus, with fist pumping and all of the gruffness of a Hot Water Music classic without quite the Ragan voice. The regret and introspection sounds real enough, and though the characters in the song aren’t quite fleshed out, they seem less two dimensional than others might write them. ‘WLWYCD’ has threads of morbid humour and more than a touch of ‘Saves the Day’-style to its lyrics and melody. There are some great choruses on a few tracks in fact, with ‘Blood Balloon’ and ‘Only Buy’ – the latter is infectious. However, there is a lot of excessively repetitive bits, and the ballad ‘Souixsie Jeanne’ leaves me cold, and feels like a serious pace-breaker, jarring the momentum that is built up.
While there’s a few really memorable and enjoyable tracks here, theres enough fluff to really keep you wondering what they could acheive with a bit more writing and editing of this. Fans will be happy with a lot of the tracks mentioned, and I’m sure it’ll work brilliantly in a live show with an audience feeding back that energy. However the album does feel a little lacklustre, and takes more than a few listens to really get into the spirit. Not a place to start with this band.
‘Death Chorus’ by Polar Bear Club is out now on Rise Records.
Words by Heather Robertson (@thecuriosity)