Polar Bear Club
Chasing Hamburg


4.5
superb

Review

by David Driver USER (82 Reviews)
October 2nd, 2009 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Polar Bear Club have created an incredibly artistic and hard-hitting punk album that shows plenty of taste and sensibility.

After releasing their delightfully Seinfeldian titled EP, The Summer of George , earlier this year, I knew that this band’s sophomore effort would be something to be praised. Although The Summer of George only sported three songs, I listened to them non-stop, as the enthusiastic punk mentality and pop-punk melodies had me hooked and coming back for more. Does Chasing Hamburg deliver the goods that The Summer of George promised on?

Chasing Hamburg proves to be a very strong effort with very few flaws. The albums opener, “See The Wind,” shows appropriately what those should expect from the band: bouncing riffs that boarder between straightforward punk and heavier hardcore, simple leads that give a perfect melodic touch, and unique, half-growling vocals that fits the music like a glove. This song in particular shows off the band’s ability to create a completely breathable, unrestricted song structure while still maintaining a heavy groove from the rhythm section and a strong sense of melody from the lead guitar and vocals.

The entire album as a whole features incredibly unique and catchy compositions. “Living Saints” and “Light of Local Eyes” feature busy rhythm guitar riffs in the verses before bursting into some very catchy choruses. “Boxes” and “One Hit Back” are more straight-forward punk songs, but still carry heavy instances of melody. “Drifting Thing” and “Chasing Hamburg” are both slower songs, but still carry catchy hooks and tasteful guitar lines. In fact, nearly every song sports a barrage of melodies and stop-start riffs, but also takes several time-outs to showcase a softer side, which turns out to be an incredibly infectious blend. There are plenty of peaks and valleys to be found in every song, yet every song feels very coherent, natural, focused and punctual.

Another unique thing about the band comes courtesy of Jimmy Stadt, whose vocal performance is nothing short of outstanding. When the music is chugging along, Jimmy sports a gritty, gurgling vocal style, but when the music changes gears and becomes more melodic and open, Mr. Stadt busts out a singing voice that is surprisingly pleasant. It’s truly is one of those instances where it’s hard to believe that one guy can sing in two unique ways. His vocal style is showcased on “Drifting Thing”, where Jimmy flawlessly switches between both styles from line to line. Hell, he even switches seamlessly in mid-sentence on some lines. It’s very cool, very unique, and very fitting of the music.

And there are plenty of other enjoyable qualities about the album. For one, the gang-vocals attribute to the already strong sense of melody to counteract the edgy guitar riffs. The Matt Bayles production is as solid as ever, with a crisp production that sill maintains plenty of bottom end, and he even contributes some of his keyboard talents to various songs. Finally, all the songs flow fantastically into one another, making the entire album an enjoyable listen from start to finish.

With Chasing Hamburg, Polar Bear Club has created an incredibly artistic and hard-hitting punk album that shows plenty of taste and sensibility, and it will be very exciting to see where their promising career goes from here.



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user ratings (221)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
accompliceofmydeath
October 2nd 2009


4302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to get a hold of this. I've heard only good things.

Digging: Snapcase - Progression Through Unlearning

cvlts
October 2nd 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

saw these guys live with Set Your Goals...

they were allrite, all the hxc kids loved them and i dont know why lol

good review
pos

accompliceofmydeath
October 2nd 2009


4302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Speaking of SYG, I was supposed to see them tonight but, one of band members is sick so they canceled. Anyone want tickets to see Mayday Parade and The Academy Is...? I didn't think so...

iranscam
October 2nd 2009


469 Comments


good review, boring band

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2009


17231 Comments


great review, amazing band


PanasonicYouth
October 2nd 2009


7412 Comments


yeah, shit's really, really good

tom79
October 2nd 2009


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't even know they released an EP called The Summer of George. That's awesome. I've only heard The Redder The Better by these guys and it was pretty good so I might check this out sometime.

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Bent Outta Shape

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2009


20858 Comments


Ok, this is strange... Coz I asked Adam (RedSkyForMiles) to review this not more than a day ago.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2009


17231 Comments


i woke up and it was there. I'll still do one

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2009


20858 Comments


Good review too. There's a couple of spelling/grammar errors here & there, so run it through a spell-check next time. But all your main points are clear & descriptive.

To Adam or David, who do you most compare these guys to?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2009


17231 Comments


small brown bike, hot water music, loved ones, crime in stereo, bearvsshark, set your goals.
this is my favorite song on it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCPhIB_TZDA

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 2nd 2009


3781 Comments


This is a ton of fun. Sounds like bands like Set Your Goals, Lifetime, Fireworks, Crime In Stereo, etc. pop-punk with hardcore influences.

Beauville88
October 4th 2009


226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the compliments, guys!

Sorry if I stole someone's thunder by reviewing this first...I'm just writing reviews for albums that don't have any.

ArmorForMusic
October 4th 2009


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. Great band. I'm going to attempt to find this album in Best Buy.

fractured
October 9th 2009


367 Comments


I really like these guys, I feel like Hot Water Music changed their appearances and got into a time machine in 1998 and jumped forward 11 years. Really nice melodic aspect, and I had no idea there was only 1 singer! Nice review btw.

Transient
October 29th 2009


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like this an awful lot

bungy
November 9th 2009


8843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is so likable

helloimstu
November 19th 2009


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great is all I can say. Have had it for a couple of weeks and love it A LOT. Favorite track is The Old Fisher Burial Ground probably, although I love the whole record. :D

Transient
January 28th 2010


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really great live

Damrod
Moderator
March 9th 2010


1093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Interesting and nice listen, though I must say nothing about this album really stands out. It has really nice melodies, and a pretty good flow overall. But it just misses a song that just get's stuck in your head.

It's good, but nothing special.



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