POLAR BEAR CLUB - Clash Battle Guilt Pride

Polar Bear Club - Clash Battle Guilt Pride

11 songs
40:10 minutes
***** **
Bridge Nine


The title sounds like a wrestling pay-per-view event, but we are actually in the presence of the third album by Polar Bear Club who have always been a good address for first class melodic punk rock spiced with a hint of hardcore.

The new CD by the New Yorkers differs from its predecessors, as despite some anger outbursts they are acting rather tamer than in the past. Somehow one gets the impression as if this record has been tailor made for the American market. The Gaslight Anthem and Rise Against led the way with a more relaxed attitude and earned them the desired success. Maybe Polar Bear Club have been influenced by this example, because Clash Battle Guilt Pride doesn’t offer the same amount of energy that used to be one of the band’s strength previously. Especially the opener Pawner needs a lot of time to get rolling. The following Killin’ It spreads more vitality, and the snotty anthem Screams In Caves makes you hope that the band has finally regained its pace. This is not the case though, as the following material veers into a calmer and even atmospheric direction, ending it the exaggeratedly cheesy 3/4 Tango. This last track is the only true slip, but even after repeated listening I don’t really warm up to the album.

I have to admit that I am slightly disappointed with Clash Battle Guilt Pride. The album is by no means bad, and I would have been less harsh, had this been a debut album. Both Sometimes Things Just Disappear and Chasing Hamburg had more crunch and were probably more apt to please a European audience than is the case with the band’s current release.

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