Shorter than ever, Polish Club serve an emaciated kielbasa of soulfulness, ol’ school, and raw punk on their new EP also called Polish Club.
Polish Club fleshes out the glimpses of what Polish Club are and what could have been back in the days when Polish Club only had three songs. Two of those, Able and Did Somebody Tell Me, bookend the track listing. Show Me Love has been left to watch from the outside, in the rain.
Polish Club tear through the gates with their self-titled EP. A little different to when we first heard them, the two-piece have evolved into an intriguing new beast.
Able and Did Somebody Tell Me, as has been detailed a few months ago, are impressive for a new band like Polish Club. The remaining four songs on Polish Club, the ‘new’ songs as it were, maintain Polish Club’s new vision yet fail to keep up with the old songs’ melodic pomposity.
It’s telling that Show Me Love has been dumped. Ninety seconds of brutal and blistering garage rock that was as hard and heavy as a song can get without being a metal song, the twosome that make up Polish Club – Novak and John-Henry (or just JH it seems) – have decided to maintain the raw aesthetic, but with decidedly more soul and retro grime charm.
Beeping, perhaps as its name suggests, is dominated by an urgent, looping riff that suits the barebones aesthetic of garage rock. There is the layer of Novak’s urgent storytelling, as well as the quick but simple chord progression that serves as a hook, but these are by far secondary to the main riff. At this point, it appears as if this EP will seamlessly slot into the established Polish Club vibe. Well at least as much as three, now four, songs construe a vibe.
Moving on, non sequentially, Only Child and Forever Whatever both employ riffs suitable for backgrounding a documentary on 1970s surf culture. That is to say that these riffs, while still made with metal and electronics, confuse the tone of Polish Club. The rawness of garage rock has been partially replaced by an experiment in playing raw covers of The Beach Boys. It’s important to mention that Only Child includes a layer, albeit subtle, of clapping; that really retrofies it.
Finally, there’s the third song on the listing Don’t Fuck Me Over. Taking up the role of the cliche slow song, this track introduces the strongest sample of the other leg to Polish Club’s evolution.
Novak seriously croons over a hard-hitting – not emotionally but quite literally in the percussion section – ballad that retains the rough edge but substitutes matching vocals for a soulful lamentation. Don’t Fuck Me Over doesn’t necessarily nail the blending of genres – it just sounds like the slow song of the bunch – but it could offer an interesting direction, much more so than the increasingly stock indie approach to take on surf pop / rock aesthetics.
Polish Club by Polish Club is overall an effort that Polish Club can be proud of, with Novak and JH displaying a high minimum standard. It doesn’t necessarily match the promise of Able and Did Somebody Tell Me, which remain the brash and captivating numbers they appeared to be the first time around. However, Polish Club are enjoying an upsurge in popularity probably akin to what the real Polish clubs enjoyed in the post-war immigration boom, so it’s still well worth keep an eye out for each member of Polish Club in the future.