This is a good album. Good like the warm water between fire and ice, quite suitable for a band called polarOPPOSITEbear, and I use this analogy because this album does indeed contain polar opposites: those of win and those of fail. As many outstanding shining, burning elements there are in this EP, there is an equal amount of shit, both woven together to produce the satisfactorily simple “good”.
To get it out of the way, let’s talk about the shit first. These guys don’t know how to write a song. They know nothing about tension and resolution. Each song save the last one (we’ll get to that) sounds almost deliberately lifeless, as chord changes fail to bring out any resonance in what little melody there is in the foreground, and the background drums just repeat, and repeat, and repeat, yet they end each song with an epic “guitar stab wind down” as if something awesome has happened, when it hasn’t really.
Now for the outstanding parts. Bass. Fuck. Yes. Both the sound of this bass guitar and the guy who plays it are incredible. ‘Nuff said. The guitar too is exceptionally well played, even if monotonously composed, yet it’s master must pay attention to vocals as well (I do my research) so there’s props to that. These guys do post-punk indie rock stuff, which can be hard to capture in a studio environment as it always resonates with a live crowd better (and this style of music was born from the live scene), but the production on this is a whole step (like, a big step, like on one of those pyramids) above most of “those” bands, producing the overall quality of an effervescent, shimmering jewel amongst the drudgery of indie rock out there.
Last but not least, and to end with a positive note, the last track on the album shows that these guys perhaps can actually write a really good song, or at least magically or accidentally pull it off once, for the 5th and final track, “5100 and One Hundred and 3” is flawless in all it’s structural, emotional and soundscapanal majesty. I will be watching their future releases with intrigue on account of this one perfect piece of polar pie.
POB at MySpace