Sometimes Things Just Disapear
Red Leader Records
I hate introductions. In fact, I was just having that conversation with someone last week. Sometimes an intro track on a CD works but that’s maybe one out of every twenty efforts. For the most part, introductions are a waste of time as I would much rather them give me a proper song to devour and entice me into the album. The first song of any CD is the most important one and with so many releases coming out every the band needs to captivate the listener from the start and intro songs rarely do that.
Now, Eat Dinner, Bury The Dog, And Run is not an intro to Polar Bear Club‘s first full length CD, Sometimes Things Just Disappear; in fact it clocks in at a mighty four and a half minutes long. However, just like so many intro songs, Eat Dinner fails to captivate my interest every time I play it and at over four minutes in length it makes it difficult to really jump into the CD. The vocals, similar to label mates Dear Tonight, seemed out of place and I wrote off the record right away. A few days later I opted to give it another chance, after all, Red Leader is normally able to deliver a high quality release. Once again, the first track was unable to grab my attention as I sat on the bus on the way from school. The record was on random and it was starting to grow a bit as similarities to The Shook Ones began to appear. The pull was starting to come but still wasn’t there and I turned it off to watch some TV. Half an hour later I threw back on the ipod while I finished some idle house work and as it hit the halfway point in Another Night In The Rock I stopped. Literally.
This song was good; like damn good. I started it from the beginning and devoured in the gruff vocals, post-hardcore breakdowns and raw energy akin to old Hot Water Music with a slightly more melodic tinge to them. It then jumped to Heart Attack At Thirty, a much faster song that starts with a ripping guitar solo and woahs that A Wilhlem Scream would be proud of. The lead vocals come in with 8 years from now, I will go into cardiac arrest. There is no doubt, my body will pay for this and sounds as if Tim McIlrath was recording Revolutions Per Minute again.
From there it went to Convinced I’m Wrong, a song I later discovered to be the closing track on the album. In complete contrast to its predecessor, Convinced I’m Wrong began with absolutely no intensity. An acoustic guitar with soft, almost clean vocals crooning over top asking sadly “you ever feel you were meant to be alone? because I saw a play and a character said that he was destined to never feel at home” it then exploded with more intensity as vocalist Jimmy Stadt returned to his rough delivery and the full band joined in. It may have been slightly formulaic but it worked well.
So I threw off the ipod to grab the actual CD and give it another chance. As Sometimes Things Just Disappear played through more songs began to stick out. The first song still felt slightly awkward but somehow more familiar. Hollow Place cemented that Shook Ones similarity in place and Big Parade‘s lyrics are the most relatable ones on the record. It’s too bad it fumbles with a slightly repetitive sound and unnecessary fade out at the end but the record then flows into Another Night In The Rock and all is forgiven.
Unfortunately, the record as a whole seems to follow that pattern with one song not necessarily being filler but not jumping out of the speakers either followed by a stronger song. It doesn’t make for an uneven listen as every song is good in it’s own right but it does make for a somewhat repetitive listen at times. Lucky for Polar Bear Club, they pack enough intensity and raw energy into the song through passionate vocals that the listener is normally able to overlook it.
Sometimes Things Just Disappear needed another second look before it really sunk in and I’m glad I gave it one. It may not be an instant classic, but Polar Bear Club have delivered a strong enough album to re-ignite the post-hardcore fanatic’s heart beat as they have laid the stepping stones for what could turn out to be a very successful underground career.