By Polar Bear Club
'Chasing Hamburg' has been one of the most anticipated alternative releases of 2009, following the somewhat unexpected popularity of 'Sometimes Things Just Disappear.' This popularity is no doubt set to continue to rise and fill the band's packed touring schedule to the maximum.
The album fires out of the blocks with opener 'See the Wind' showcasing a straight up abrasive punk/rock sound. Instantly noticeable is the use of production compared with the band's previous efforts. This is not a particularly polished album, but then again, it isn't meant to be. The rough edge given to the music now piles onto the already gravelly vocals of Jimmy Stadt, giving every track an intensity required from a ten song album.
More melodic moments come in the shape of tracks such as 'Living Saints' and 'One Hit Back.' The latter revealing itself towards the conclusion of the album is a genius stroke, as it already sets you up wanting a repeat listen of the album. With a perfect dosage of pop injected, Polar Bear Club display more depth to their talents with their ability to draw in a wider audience.
'Drifting Thing' and 'Song to Persona' also alter the structure of the album with the former consisting primarily of vocals and a palm muted guitar, it acts as a sort of ballad, in a different way to the typical ballad. 'Song to Persona' slows the tempo down, and fully expands itself within the last thirty seconds, as the song builds to a well constructed, vocal driven outro.
The self-titled final track on the album suitably wraps up proceedings on a job well done. If you want a solid album consisting of no nonsense modern punk rock, then you should listen to 'Chasing Hamburg.' If you haven't listened to Polar Bear Club before, listening to 'Sometimes Things Just Disappear' would probably be advisable to get the full picture of where the band have been, where they are now and where they are headed. There is no doubt that they can have another big year with this album.