Album Reviews

Polock – Getting Down From The Trees

(Mushroom Pillow) UK release date: 11 April 2011

Polock are from Valencia. Valencia is a fine city, blending perfect beaches that stretch past the horizon and restaurants where Hemingway once loafed with the bustling artists of the fashion conscious city. Whilst it’s therefore a touch strange that something as close in sound and melodic bent to Phoenix should be picked up from a city that’s so unique, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Getting Down From The Trees. It’s replete with the fodder to set the indie clubs a-fling with a few anthems this summer.

To focus on obvious comparisons may not be especially productive, for there’s enough here that is the band’s own. This debut has a thoroughly live sound, in the same way the first down-strokes of The Strokes immediately announced something exciting and natural. Polock keep things refreshingly straight, even with the odd fluffed guitar note towards the close of opener High On Life.

There’s a playfulness here that recalls the Elephant 6 collective, particularly the pop and crackle of The Apples In Stereo‘s finer moments. As bass lines underpin the pop-scratch and keys nicely surge toward soft pop whimsy, you get the impression their frontman could match the Apples’ Rob Schneider blow for blow on the emotive power-grab stakes. It has impact, it’s catchy and gives off a misty-eyed, optimistic outlook. The songwriting isn’t grade A throughout, but it’s 85% there.

Europop, apart from the occasional Scandinavian explosion and the obvious success that’s stemmed from certain members of the Ed Banger crew, has somewhat snobbishly been ignored. A quota is accepted but the saturation point is low. The problem stems from a European music scene culturally too attached to heritage and to the past. If the media is so quick to pick up on a band that aren’t the most original troupe in the game, why not cast the net wider? Maybe because Phoenix’s last album sold well. Why fix what isn’t broke?

Tangerines And Unicorns is sunshine, twee to the rafters and makes you want to skip as its chorus explodes in reverie. It shows off a band with an ear for melody that’s demonstrated on an album that, derivative or not, deserves to be danced to and can easily be stuck on repeat.

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Polock – Getting Down From The Trees