Polar Bear Club
Clash Battle Guilt Pride


4.0
excellent

Review

by Damrod EMERITUS
September 21st, 2011 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Clash Battle Guilt Pride" is an excellent output and progression for Polar Bear Club, though progression might not be the right word.

Progression and change is always and somewhat a double edged blade. As a band you will be cursed if you do not change or progress enough. Dare to change more than people like, and you're cursed because of, well, change. Best examples are Rise Against or Thrice for the latter category, but in a way Polar Bear Club had their fair share of hate for their progression as well. You could always spot the Hot Water Music influence, but while their debut "Sometimes Things Just Disappear" still wore it's hardcore roots on it's sleeve, "Chasing Hamburg" went for a more melodic edge that not everyone felt comfortable with. The newest output "Clash Battle Guilt Pride" takes this trend to an even more refined level.

Opener 'Pawner' displays in a straight forward way what can be expected from new Polar Bear Club: melancholic to introspective tones are even more present than on previous outings, while still packing a punch. Truest to old form is the gang vocal driven 'Killin' it', while especially the lyrics of 'I'll never leave New York' and '3/4 Tango' show Jimmy Stadts more personal touch in writing the words to the songs. While the guitars still display awesome sense for melodic arrangements, and the rhythm section drives forward as always, the vocals are the most advanced and developed since "Chasing Hamburg". Stadt goes from soothing clean to raspy harsh with ease and gives many of the songs their own dynamic through his vocal performance.

The album is a strong and solid endeavor, and if the record has any problems at all they are called 'Screams In Caves' and 'My Best Days'. Not because they are in any way bad, absolutely the opposite. Both are catchy and strong anthems with strong melodies. To an extend they are a bit too catchy for the albums own good though, for one as both are almost next to each other, and that amongst the first part of the album. The rest is not really bad and far off behind, still both songs will probably end up as pinnacles for many on the first spins, making the rest seem a bit bland and weak in comparison. How much this will impact the long term and lasting value of the record time will tell, but this reviewer would not be surprised if in the end "Clash Battle Guilt Pride" would go down as one of Polar Bear Club's strongest outputs to date and a clear focal point in their developing discography.

To sum it up: Melody seems to be the clear goal in songwriting for Polar Bear Club these days, bringing catchiness in it's wake. That is not necessary a bad thing, as anthemic songs like 'Screams In Caves' and 'My Best Days'. Overall the album is a strong crowd pleaser so to say, though most of the album has to work a bit to get out of the long shadow of the major anthems hitting you early on in the first fourth of the track list.

Still, overall the album can aim for a solid 4/5



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user ratings (206)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Damrod
Moderator
September 21st 2011


1093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

First review in somewhat over two years, go easy on me! ;-)

Iai
Emeritus
September 21st 2011


3553 Comments


Bloody hell, it's a Damrod review! Good to see you back.

Relinquished
September 21st 2011


25584 Comments


hooray!

elephantREVOLUTION
September 21st 2011


2784 Comments


i feel like i should really like this band but i just can't get into them.

Spec
September 21st 2011


27271 Comments


Only listen to them because they had an EP titled "The Summer Of George."

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

Gyromania
September 21st 2011


15973 Comments


Holy shit, a Damrod review!

ti0n
September 21st 2011


1571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pawner PWNS!
Oh yes!

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave

Fieryfenderz
September 21st 2011


1477 Comments


I find it strange everyone loves these guys now, I saw them live a few months ago and they were absolutely abysmal.

Hep Kat
September 21st 2011


15356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah they're pretty bad live, but this album is still pretty good

astrel
September 21st 2011


2614 Comments


Completely forgot about this band. I really liked their first LP.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


15743 Comments


who the fuck are you

cvlts
September 21st 2011


8977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

impeccable english brah

sixthgoldenticket
September 21st 2011


1176 Comments


this is pretty good but most of the songs seem to blend into eachother

Sanders
September 21st 2011


2361 Comments


Really like these guys, seeing them with Rise Against in a month and a bit, gonna be awesome. Nice review to shake the rust off with :]

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


17225 Comments


My only experience seeing Polar Bear Club live was opening for the Movielife at a house show. They were pretty good. I still think Chasing Hamburg and The Redder the Better are their best but this is still pretty damn good.

Leatherneck
September 21st 2011


661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

''good but most of the songs seem to blend into eachother''

i tend to think that is a good thing, it gives the album a meaning, i actually prefer albums that don't randomly change their sound/structure on every song, though i apperciate diversity but, you know

CrackTheSkye
September 21st 2011


726 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Loving this album at the moment. Carries the same nostalgic quality as their old stuff. Probably just behind Chasing Hamburg as their best.

sixthgoldenticket
September 21st 2011


1176 Comments


@leatherneck yeah i agree, i only gave this one listen so i should probably try it again

Comatorium.
September 21st 2011


4186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Singer sounds like Chad Kroeger...

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2011


16789 Comments


sup damrod

welcome back

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy



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