Polarnecks’ self-released EP Never Heard of Sports marks the arrival of a distinctive sound, blending strong musicianship with thought-provokingly good song-writing.
Opening track ‘Clouds’ is an aptly named outpouring of lyrical self-deprecation, with lack of drums and echoing quality to vocals ensuring a light, laid-back feel.
But the song merely acts as a false sense of security, within seconds of its end, the listener is ripped out of this serotonin-depleted comfort zone and knocked to the ground as ‘Ritual Dance’ kicks in.
The same dark lyrical quality remains, throwing up undoubted parallels with Ian Curtis, but the track provides a far heavier, grittier experience.
And if ‘Ritual Dance’ knocks you down, ‘All The Truths’ grabs you and drags you along for the ride, with a gloriously raw and raucous energy underpinning a gripping track that edges its way to the EP’s highlight.
‘Have The Guts’ follows, delivering the Polarnecks sound coated in a slightly more upbeat flavour, like a marginally cheerier Placebo.
Again, the band’s tone works in tandem with genuinely thoughtful, perceptive lyrics, as vocalist Lukas Clasen shines in his role as purveyor of angst.
With ‘Clouds’ having given way to three more vociferous numbers, it is ‘New View’ that provides the perfect conclusion to the record, with the track’s atmosphere being the gloomiest of the EP yet ironically providing the most upbeat lyrics.
Overall, Polarnecks manage to unleash a genuinely engaging experience with Never Heard of Sports, there are various hints of a multitude of artists throughout, from Joy Division and The Cribs to The Vaselines and Modern Baseball, but that merely highlights the distinctive sound the band are producing.
This is an outfit that are undoubtedly more dark, winter night than fairy-lit Christmas party and are definitely a band worth checking out if that’s your thing.
Words: Jason Henderson