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Album Review: Polar Bear Club - 'Chasing Hamburg'

30 September 2009 | 11:45 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

What were you expecting?

More Polar Bear Club More Polar Bear Club

Straight off the bat I’m going to admit that bad reviews are way easier to write than good reviews. Give me a Crazytown CD and I’ll tear that shit to goddamn pieces and a bunch of kids will be like “Nah man you just don’t get it” and we can all have a good laugh. When I get bad CDs in the mail I’m happy, because it means the work is done for me pretty much. So when Jared was all like “Yeaaahh bruz I’m sendin’ ya fuckin’ Polar Bear Club aye”  (he talks EXACTLY like that) I secretly went “Fuck”, because although I still hadn’t heard these dudes, from what I could tell I was going to like it a lot, and in a review capacity that sucks because  it means actually writing something constructive. Yeah I’m lazy, cope. 


So here we are, and what the fuck can I say? The fact that Bridge 9 scooped these kids up pretty soon after their first release is proof enough that this album is going to blow you the fuck away, here’s a label that knows exactly what’s up and as far back as I can remember, have never actually put out anything remotely un-awesome. And even contending with a virtually blemish-free back catalogue, Chasing Hamburg still stands out as one of the better releases, no shit. 


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The album starts solid from the word go, and while opener See The Wind isn’t one of the strongest numbers on show, it works well to set a drifting, churning tone with vocalist Jimmy Stadt crooning desperately amid the waves. Living Saints hammers it a little bit harder and is the instant anthem of the album, this is one of those songs you just know is going to become a classic. Younger readers take note- you WILL be singing this at a bbq when you’re 30, so pay close attention.  


The beauty of Chasing Hamburg is its ability to move so flawlessly between a bunch of different moods and styles, while still maintaining a distinct sound. So many bands will try to diversify song styles, but lose any kind of character as a result and this is what stands out most for me about Polar Bear Club. They have such a clear idea of the sound they want, and work so well together in achieving this, that even the almost folk-like tone of  The Old Fisher Burial Ground doesn’t sound out of place, they have something so rarely found in bands these days, and the best part about it is they play like they couldn’t give a fuck. 


Great albums make for boring reviews, with a bit of luck you stopped reading half way through and just went and bought the fucking thing. Hold out for another Brokencyde disc if you want something good to read.

An instant classic from a band with true heart. 

1. See The Wind 

2. Living Saints 

3. Boxes 

4. Take Me 

5. Drifting Thing 

6. Light Of Local Eyes 

7. Song To Persona 

8. Old Fisher Burial Ground 

9. One Hit Back 

10. Chasing Hamburg