One of the most appealing things about Polar Bear Club has always been frontman Jimmy Stadt‘s guttural growl, which sounds like something that might come out of an angry boar’s mouth if it was about to gore you to death (and also had a pretty good sense of melody). But Stadt’s voice sounds different, really different, on their latest effort, Death Chorus. So different, in fact, that Stadt actually put out a statement regarding his vocals the day before the record was released, saying that his voice had changed and that his usual snarl now sounds like “pissy, hot garbage.”
The change was noticeable enough on the album’s first two singles, “Blood Balloon” and “Upstate Mosquito,” that fans started – what else? – whining about it on the Internet. If they had only waited to hear the full record, listeners could have experienced just how well Stadt’s new singing style fits in with the music on Death Chorus. While the album is somewhat of a departure for these upstate New York punks, far poppier and more digestible than their earlier material, it’s also some of the most fun, shameless rock music to come out in 2013.
Featuring triumphant guitars and speedy drums, “Blood Balloon” and “Graph Paper Glory Days” kick off the record with gusto. These tracks, like many others throughout Death Chorus, are surprisingly reminiscent of the early-2000′s pop-punk on Saves the Day‘s In Reverie, or even Something Corporate‘s Leaving Through the Window. ”WLWYCD,” another standout on the album, would have felt just as comfortable in 2003 as it does today.
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