93 Feet East, London
Review by Corinna ‘Merm’ Tomrley (aka Lezzer Bangs)
I’d already fallen for POLSKY. The recent release of their debut My Own Company gives us that LP animal that is very difficult to get right: the concept album. And their concept is that as the music industry has got more and more soulless and more corporate, the band has taken this to its natural conclusion and become is its own corporation. The album explores the fragmentation and disconnection of our technocentric world. But as much as the concept wants to be soulless, the album isn’t. There are love songs in there and there’s a visceral punch to the music that taps and touches all those buttons that make you smitten with an LP.
And their music is diverse; it would be very rude just to categorise it as ‘indie’. It’s a mishmash of styles. Postpunk, electro pop, punkdisco, there’s hints of early Boo Radleys, Talking Heads, Angelo Badalamenti, Blondie, and even a touch of Echo & The Bunnyman in there. And with each play through you hear more and more layers. Even though there’s bit of this and that (from disco to bossa nova), it’s completely cohesive. And so, of course, I’m crushing big time on this music and this band.
But I had yet to see them live. I had no doubt they could do live. None at all. I wasn’t worried. But I did wonder how this superproduced soundscape would translate to being played in front of an audience.
What I discovered is that there are two POLSKYs. There’s the studio one and the live one. And they are both great. There were technical difficulties riddling their set but actually it didn’t dent the experience. From the opening bars of Halcyon Daze to the closing notes of Nimbus Cumulus, this band pulls you in, punches you in the guts, tears your heart out and snogs you hard. Well, metaphorically.
Chatting with them after I was told that they came together disparately but now they are a family and I totally get that. Their warmth, support and wordless communication on that stage could be felt and seen.
I was most looking forward what has become my favourite track, Halcyon Daze. Can we talk about how much I frikking love this song? It was a grower and was only after about, oh I dunno, a gazillion plays that I realized why I adore it. It’s disco! Of course I love it, I am D.I.S.C.O. But it’s punkdisco. I was recently discussing this crossover genre with a friend and we were saying how early punk and early disco had very queer beginnings and that there were a plethora of acts that came out of that and mashed the two styles together perfectly. Think Blondie, Grace Jones, Divine, and then consider early Madonna. So you can hear all of that in Halcyon Daze but it goes beyond that. It’s as if Talking Heads did disco. Maybe they did, I dunno, did they? Anyway, it’s fucking amazing¸ this song. It’s SO disco on the album. And it’s their next single (video to come soon, I’m so excited). Therefore, I was really looking forward to shaking my good thing to that track at the gig. But. It was so full on electropunk. I was disappointed for a nanosecond and then… then, I just went with it and it was fucking incredible.
Corinna Tomrley fb
Corinna @ Loverboy magazine