POLAR BEAR CLUB - Chasing Hamburg

Polar Bear Club - Chasing Hamburg

10 songs
32:09 minutes
***** ***
Bridge Nine


Polar Bear Club’s debut Sometimes Things Just Disappear was released in their native USA already in 2008, but took one more year to find its way to Europe whose audiences were also instantly hooked to these newcomers who successfully opened for Gaslight Anthem on their tour. In the meantime the youngsters had assembled enough fresh material to come forward with their second album Chasing Hamburg in late 2009.

The New Yorkers once again concoct an excellent mix of punk, hardcore and emo that sounds not unlike Hot Water Music, Crime In Stereo or Snapcase. Jimmy Stadt’s impeccable vocal performance finds the right balance between toughness and melodies. The occasional choirs that turn up during some choruses are another of the band’s fortes.

The CD begins with the slightly heavier See The Wind, but later on the melodic and emotional components get more weight. The following tracks are mostly splendidly catchy, with Boxes and Song To Persona being only two examples of songs impossible to get out of your mind. The title track is also a wonderfully arranged hymn that ends the album with dignity. Even though the undeniable pop factor can’t be denied, the music never feels too soft, thanks to the heavy riffs that are at the base of everything. The final result are ten highly mature songs that should appeal to fans young and old alike.

The only drawback is the short running time. When the CD ends after only a good half hour, one would certainly not mind getting a few encores. Eventually I prefer short entertaining albums to longer ones full of fillers, and if you haven’t had enough after making your way through Chasing Hamburg, you can get back to their debut.

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