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Album Review: Polar Bear Club - 'Clash Battle Guilt Pride'

9 October 2011 | 5:50 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

11 awesome punk rock anthems.

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Polar Bear Club's last record, 'Chasing Hamburg,' caught a lot of people's attention, especially here in Australia. Those who saw the band perform on the Soundwave tour were bound to be locked into their fandom by the group's energetic live set. Now back with their third record 'Clash Battle Guilt Pride,' the band let us know that so far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Even though it didn't really need to, it seems as though every element of the band has improved for this record, from lyrics to songwriting, even the general sound. Opening with an emotional declaration in Pawner, the tear in vocalist Jimmy Stadt's voice proclaims "I gotta take a grab at something great" and as the band kick in with big guitar tones a thumping drums you get the feeling that are doing exactly that.

This leads seamlessly to Killin' It, full of gang vocals and driven by it's guitars, this little duo kicks things of brilliantly. The flow of the album is so good it makes this record best listened to from start to finish. Dynamically the band will have you hooked, from the melodic and atmospheric breakdowns of Kneel on Nails, to the powerful and catchy chorus of My Best Days.

One of the stand out tracks is I'll Never Leave New York, a love song with layered vocals and the most memorable chorus on the album slipped in between punchy, riff driven verses. Whilst the vocals and guitar lines steal the majority of the record's spotlight, the rhythm section provide a solid and consistent performance. Especially in Slow Roam, a track with some brilliant drum ideas which tweak the standard rock beat formula making things more interesting.

The record ends with another highlight, 3-4 Tango, a melodic anthem which begins with darker tones and builds to a powerful finale.

Every song on 'Clash Battle Guilt Pride' is better than the one before it. The band's sound is more polished than on their past efforts, which when combined with their solid songwriting and Stadt's awesome vocals, make for their finest album to date.

1. Pawner
2. Killin It
3. Screams in Caves
4. Kneel on Nails
5. My Best Days
6. Life Between the Lines
7. I'll Never Leave New York
8. Bottled Wind
9. Slow Roam
10. Religion on the Radio
11. 3-4 Tango