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Polar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just Disappear (Cover Artwork)

Polar Bear Club

Polar Bear Club: Sometimes Things Just DisappearSometimes Things Just Disappear (2008)
Red Leader Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: genebuonaccorsiDarthNader
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With their debut EP, The Redder, The Better, Polar Bear Club garnered much attention along with comparisons to post-hardcore torchbearers Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike. They ride some decent hype with their debut album, Sometimes Things Just Disappear on Red Leader. Sometimes Things Just D.
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With their debut EP, The Redder, The Better, Polar Bear Club garnered much attention along with comparisons to post-hardcore torchbearers Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike. They ride some decent hype with their debut album, Sometimes Things Just Disappear on Red Leader.

Sometimes Things Just Disappear is a well-balanced yet occasionally repetitive listen. Tracks like "Hollow Place" and "Burned Out in a Jar" show off the best PBC have to offer: strong musicianship, decent lyricism and a very gritty, yet harnessed feel. It's evident, for example, in the intro to "Burned Out in a Jar," where they manage to turn moments that would feel cliché and obnoxious in other bands into respectably unique songs. In other words, they are able to hit the emotional dynamics without giving off the nauseating feel of those bands who make a living out of them. The key is the grit and energy. Though the production is well done, the band still leaves a very intimate, raw imprint on the songs.

Despite a strong similar feel throughout the album, the music varies enough to engage the casual listener. Sans vocals, tracks like "As Twere the Mirror" and "Another Night in the Rock" recall Forty Hour Train Back to Penn-era Movielife, which is not a bad thing. In fact, tracks with legitimately accessible hooks help the album flow without getting stagnant.

As for the vocals, they are the really focus of the majority of the songs. Vocalist Jimmy Stadt sounds most of the time like a mix between Hot Water Music's co-vocalists and As the Eternal Cowboy / Searching for a Former Clarity-era Tom Gabel (of Against Me!, for those residing under rocks). Occasionally a bit heavier than his obvious influences, Stadt works his highs and lows well, with an ever-present gruff edge. The vocals are well-executed, playing with the music rather than separately. Individually, each musician stands alone well talent-wise and the tight execution makes for an impressive result.

Sometimes Things Just Disappear closes in a very enticing fashion. After a minor fall-off ("Tried" and "Our Ballads" tread dangerously close to filler) the band kicks it in with what are two of the album's stronger songs. Starting with "Heart Attack at Thirty," PBC shift into high gear and inject a bit of No Trigger / Bigwig-style melodic punk into the formula. Leading with the quality line "Eight years from now / I will go into cardiac arrest / There is no doubt / My body will pay for this," the song revives you after a bit of a lull in the album. The closer "Convinced I'm Wrong" follows the cliché formula of soft strummed notes exploding into an emotional climax, yet without all the feeling that they are trying hard to be epic (a problem that has plagued a few bands when closing an album). The vocals are passionate enough to feel genuine and the dynamics work well, bringing a satisfying close to the album.

All in all, a well executed debut full-length from Polar Bear Club. Though they are way ahead of their age, Sometimes Things Just Disappear is a step or two away from a classic. The influences are present, but so is their own personal touch. The musicianship is good and the lyrics are decent. With a bit more variation and a couple more years of experience, Polar Bear Club could produce a real gem. Their career is off to a great start and I'd bet that this album will be looked back on as the start of something great.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Polar Bear Club - The Redder, The BetterAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimPolar Bear Club - Chasing HamburgThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldHot Water Music - CautionA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideDillinger Four - C I V I L W A R

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mowlio (December 31, 2010)

Awesome album musically, lyrically it's not so great.

jondb (December 27, 2009)

For me, way better then Chasing Hamburg

SydBarrett420 (July 30, 2009)

I don't know what I was smoking a year ago, but I am really starting to get into this album.

plagues (July 9, 2009)

Favorite release of 2008, hands down

badbrain (July 1, 2009)

I saw these guys open for somebody and thought they were good so I bought their cd, which I found boring and did absolutely nothing for me.

I gave it another listen recently, and it's OK for what it is, but it's just a weird kind of boring: not boring enough for me to listen to if I want something chill too, and too boring for me to ever want to listen to it otherwise. At least they're decent live

swellersfan7407 (February 17, 2009)

"Burnt out in a jar" is the catchiest song i have heard, next to thriller by MJ.

mikexdude (January 2, 2009)

I want to be this band. Plain and simple. Some of the best punk compositions I've ever heard. There is no filler. At all. To continue their streak of flawless releases, the next full length should have some more energy; more tracks like Most Miserable Life or Hallow Place.

assgoblin (December 4, 2008)

solid debut full-length.

disconnected (December 3, 2008)

My album of 2008 hands down

ak3punk (October 28, 2008)

Our ballads is NOT a filler tune, this album rules, its making my year end list for sure...

genebuonaccorsi (October 25, 2008)

i cant believe i called Our Ballads filler.

mikexdude (September 27, 2008)

This record owns EVERYTHING.

24HourPriapism (May 7, 2008)

okay, bumping this up one full star after almost living with this album for the past few months, letting it sink in on my walks around the city, to and from interviews, walking around taking pictures at night, listening to the lyrics, appreciating every guitar line and every snare hit. tying it back into the previous EP, this stands just as tall as the redder, the better. seriously one of my favorite joints of '08 for sure now.

muktar (April 29, 2008)

sorry wrong score, last one for review. this one for cd. not as goo as redder the better though./

muktar (April 29, 2008)

cant stop listening to hollow place

scarysmurf (April 27, 2008)

took a while but finally got into it

ExitEnglish (March 21, 2008)

Thought it was a bit boring at first, but after each listen it gets better, can't get enough of it. And as been said Convinced I'm Wrong is amazing, gonna be one of my favourite releases this year.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (March 19, 2008)

awesome

AnotherBoringStory (March 19, 2008)

Thanks, dopesick! I was thinking of the Cuban Ballerina artwork, I think.

24HourPriapism (March 18, 2008)

definitely been growing on me lately. "bug parade" and "convinced i'm wrong" are goddamn amazing. also, i'll have to disagree about "tried" as well. the lyrics definitely make the song memorable, not filler at all.

dopesick (March 18, 2008)

For those asking about artwork it was doen by horsebites: http://www.myspace.com/horsebites

sleepwalker (March 17, 2008)

So far, this is the best album of 2008, hands down. "Convinced I'm Wrong" just kills, but it's "Bug Parade" that is the true standout. Beautiful lyrics.

himandhisdevotee (March 17, 2008)

i really love this album..but the first three songs do it for me everytime. i think the only reason why i like the other two EPs more mainly because i'm wayyyy more attached to those songs more so than the new ones. bug parade is probably one of their best songs though hands down. it's pretty obv that this band doesn't have the greatest lyrics ever but they way everything is delivered is mind shattering almost. Jimmy Stadt is so sincere and passionate it's scarey, on top of the fact his vocal melodies are ALWAYS on point. PBC is just a well put together band and i am beyond stoked to hear what they're going to do next. i'll always support these dudes live i have been for the past few years. they need to come to chicago already!

sweetsugarpezz (March 16, 2008)

hey syd, 311 is daterapetastic!

this album however is nuts, and gets better with every listen.

Scruffy (March 15, 2008)

"Anybody know who did the artwork on this? The style looks really familiar but I can't place where I've seen it."

It reminds me of the Nick Gurewitch (?) who does/did Perry Bible Fellowship. Anyone know if it is, indeed, him?

Big_Guy (March 15, 2008)

I think 311 is great.

Polar Bear Club is just better. that's all opinion though

SydBarrett420 (March 15, 2008)

Why do some many here bash 311? Chances are they took one of your favorite bands on one of their first tours and they are more "punk" than 95% of the bands that get ink on this site.

I'm also guessing the majority of people who bash 311 were born in the late 80's or later.

punkgato (March 14, 2008)

There are way too many people bickering over the finer points of what pop punk band this band sounds most like when you should all be enjoying the new Cursed album!!!

AnotherBoringStory (March 14, 2008)

Anybody know who did the artwork on this? The style looks really familiar but I can't place where I've seen it.

onegirlarmy (March 14, 2008)

wait, you have 311 in your top bands. nevermind.

onegirlarmy (March 14, 2008)

Wow did I miss something? Boring ass record that got deleted after 3 days.

Sucks to be you, you're missing out. :)

SydBarrett420 (March 14, 2008)

Wow did I miss something? Boring ass record that got deleted after 3 days.

AnotherBoringStory (March 13, 2008)

Wow, "Heart Attack At Thirty" is AWESOME. I can see this ending up as one of my favorites of the year. Great stuff!

mcgregor107 (March 13, 2008)

Holy shit! Their last EP is amazing!! (Just got it yesterday).

I'll definitely check this out.. high hopes.

Big_Guy (March 13, 2008)

it's obvious that the ep is better, but it's not really that much better.

I'd give the ep a 9.5 and this an 8.

there are parts of a few songs I don't like, but that doesn't mean I don't like the song.

jamespastepunk (March 13, 2008)

Disc is awesome. Pick it up or be stupid.

I'm not sure the disc drags in the middle, it's got Burned Out in a Jar and Another Night in the Rock.

My love for the Redder, the Better is coloring this a little much. Please, PBC, tour Chicago in August!

Icapped2pac (March 13, 2008)

I should also mention that while I can't see any way that this won't be my top album of 2008, I think I can already also say what my no.2 will be. That would be Transit's "This Will Not Define Us", which I got off Itunes yesterday just before going to bed and sacrificed an hour of sleep to give a full listen to. After one listen, I'd give it 4/5, but it could grow from there with repeated listens. I really think that a lot of people who like PBC will like them as well, so please (I know, shameless misplaced plug) go to:

www.myspace.com/transitma

and give them a chance. I believe most of them are only 18 or 19, too, so I think they'll only get better with time. Thank you for your time. Stay classy, Punknews. Rock over Rochester, rock on, North Shore. End transmission.

Icapped2pac (March 13, 2008)

I agree a lot with Ms. Onegirlarmy (as usual) on this album, except that I had very high expectations and for me they were completely met. The CD arrived in my mailbox just before I went home for xmas, and it couldn't have been a more perfect soundtrack for the ride. From the first few notes, I was floored. I'll admit I was a little thrown off by "Heart Attack" at first too since I'm not really a fan of mono-note stacatto riffs (I still skip "Cars & Calories" every time I listen to "Stay What You Are"), but I really came around on it - probably because I really relate to the lyrics, although I have only have another year and a half in my countdown.

Whoever made the comment about the self-titled era 3EB influence is dead on to me, as the guys are definitely very influenced by them. I think "Convince I'm Wrong" in particular incorporates that influence with amazing results. I'm hopefully going to see them open for 3EB on 4/27 in Oswego. It's crazily awesome they got that gig.

Other than Wu-Tang's "36 Chambers", I don't believe I've ever posted a non-joking 5 stars on a review, but I couldn't mean it more than I do here. Normally, I get aggravated when people put down music/albums I'm so passionate about, but for some reason on this one I genuinely feel sorry for people who were disappointed with this album. I just don't see it. I hope it grows on all of you so you can share the joy that this apparently brings to mosty of us who have commented here.

say_not_a_word (March 13, 2008)

took a few listens when i first got it a few months ago but i fuckin love this album.
i also disagree about 'our ballads', i think it's one of the best tracks, and while 'convinced i'm wrong' IS knowingly epic sounding, it still rips so hard.

onegirlarmy (March 13, 2008)

This reviewer has obviously never really listened to their older stuff. Otherwise he wouldnt have said that this band "could release a real gem" with more experience.

that's why he mentioned the EP in the first sentence *rolls eyes*

tomscahilliv (March 13, 2008)

This reviewer has obviously never really listened to their older stuff. Otherwise he wouldnt have said that this band "could release a real gem" with more experience. This album sounds like a less talented band trying to be Polar Bear Club. Even jimmy's vocals seem to be overdone. After hearing the songs they released before the album came out, I didnt expect this album to be on the same level as the demo or the ep, but this is still the most dissapointing album I have heard in a long time.

AWilhelmPetter (March 12, 2008)

PS: Am I the onlyone who gets a Crime In Stereo assosiation with the music of these lads?

AWilhelmPetter (March 12, 2008)

This album is great and the lyrics to Our Ballads are absolute mint, but something is missing. I think it's some of the energy they gave on The Redder, The Better. Non the less, great album and I can't wait for more from these boys.

onegirlarmy (March 12, 2008)

also, in conjunction with the review, I think "Heart Attack at Thirty" sounds more like Bad Religion musically rather than No Trigger or Bigwig. Hell, one of the opening riffs sounds exactly like a Bad Religion riff, specifically I keep thinking from "Hooray For Me... and Fuck You" from Stranger Than Fiction for some reason.

for what it's worth though, that was the one song that threw me for a loop when I first heard it. I was NOT expecting the band to attempt a melodic punk song and I think it worked ridiculously well.

onegirlarmy (March 12, 2008)

This just doesn't live up to the precedent set by the EP, and it blows my mind that anyone thinks they met or exceeded those expectations. Every song on Redder operated at the absolute height of dynamicism, passion and emotion for every incredible second. Those five songs swelled and crashed with the best of them, and to even suggest this comes close is a sort of an insult.

That being said, it's still a very good album. The first two tracks absolutely rule, but the album definitely tails off after that, outside of "Our Ballads" and "Convinced I'm Wrong," my other two favorites. If every song was as good as any of those four I'd be talking a different story.

It's definitely not the style change. There's a super bizarre Third Eye Blind circa self-titled influence all over the place, but it works. I think it's just missing Redder's power.

I'd give this an 8/10 on a good day, 7/10 when its faults and unevenness are more glaring.

I figured this cd would get a legitimate staff review

...and if it did, I probably would have given it the same score, if not lower.


You're right in the aspect that no, it doesn't have the same power that the EP did. But I guess that I'm in the minority that each record a band puts out I view as a separate entity and I went into this with no expectations. I just love it simply for what it is and I view it as completely different than the EP.

notfeelingcreative (March 12, 2008)

This is just one of those albums that I haven't been able to get into. When I listen to it, I can understand why people like it, the music is good, the vocals are passionate, but it just doesn't do it for me!

pasha (March 12, 2008)

this album is incredible.

mikeinflames (March 12, 2008)

it's a decent album. but i don't think it deserves all the hype it's been getting. i liked the ep much better than this.

with that being said. i'm still stoked as fuck to see them in april.

xshoutoutx (March 12, 2008)

such a great album!

onegirlarmy (March 11, 2008)

I personally think the album is fantastic. Even the songs I wasn't crazy about at first (another night in the rock for one) grew on me big time. Granted, the EP was spectacular and a lot of folks seemed a little thrown off by the "new" direction they were going in. I can see how that might lead to disappointment but with the fact that they posted songs like Burned Out In a Jar and Another Night... on their Myspace page so long before the album came out, it still somewhat shocks me that anyone can think they didn't see the sound change coming.

I like what they've done and it works for them. Props to PBC all the way.

johnrambo (March 11, 2008)

Yea these guys rip off No Trigger at every turn. It's probably just those asshole ex-Marathon dudes.

Redscare (March 11, 2008)

I didn't get very far through the stream. Maybe after I go bowling I'll give it another shot...

nate_derby (March 11, 2008)

Album rules, but God forbid they put a fast beat on at least ONE SONG.

raiseyourfistrecords (March 11, 2008)

Our Ballads has the worst lyrics ever. good message. just sounds like a 14 year old wrote it.

maverick (March 11, 2008)

No idea why people are knocking "Our Ballads," that to me is one of the disc's finest moments.

The reason this album works so well is it opens and closes so strongly that you forget about any tiny missteps in the middle. "Eat Dinner..." is so immensely powerful and raw; the lyrics to that song completely bowled me over. I could listen to "Convinced I'm Wrong" 100 times in a row and not get tired of it. That chorus is just so mammoth. I can't wait to see these guys live again so I can sing along with it.

I love this record. Definitely my first favorite of 2008.

-Scott

defianceohioequalslove (March 11, 2008)

This shits a 10. No fucking doubt. "Our Ballads" is the ballsiest song I've heard in sooo long, and if the end of "Tried" doesn't get you screaming along, you have no soul.

I usually try not to bitch about reviews, because shit, everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but man this review is an injustice. I figured this cd would get a legitimate staff review, and thus I thought it'd be pointless to take a shot at writing something up, but I guess not. Once I get some free time maybe...

People will be talking about this disk for a very long time.

24HourPriapism (March 11, 2008)

maybe it's because every song on the EP was dead-on, and they didn't have any room for slack, but i haven't gotten into this one as much as i thought i would. "eat dinner", followed by "hollow place" rules right out the gate, and the vocals in "our ballad" are outstanding. but it sorta.....i dunno. not that i'm tossing this aside immediately, but it didn't hook me as strongly as the EP did.

cherrycolarain (March 11, 2008)

The album is amazing, I just dislike "As 'Twere The Mirror" it sounds way too forced in my opinion. The best tracks are definitely "Eat Dinner, Bury The Dog and Run", "Hollow Place", "Heart Attack At Thirty" and "Convinced I'm Wrong". Fuck, "Convinced I'm Wrong" is fucking awesome, I think it's one of the best closers I've ever heard to any CD.

playyourpart (March 11, 2008)

Got this in the mail a while back and I must say it's such a solid listen beginning to end. I've been hooked on these guys since the EP dropped and I expect great things to come.

CANNON (March 11, 2008)

I must disagree about "Our Ballads":

4 best tracks on this album:
"Eat Dinner, Bury the Dog, And Run"
"Hollow Place"
"Bug Parade"
and "Our Ballads"

mechpope13 (March 11, 2008)

Rochester Rock City

AlmostPunkEnough (March 11, 2008)

it took forver, and i really had to work hard for it, but eventually this shit clicked. and goddamn, once it did, it was worth every minute. one of the most incredibly emotional albums i've heard in a long time.

brilliantly depressing to the point of making me overtly happy. if that makes any sense.

nocigar (March 11, 2008)

Fucking awesome.

Cover art is sick

llmp (March 11, 2008)

"Convinced I'm Wrong" has really grown on me since I originally heard it.

Great stuff.

baseball (March 11, 2008)

I want to like it, but it isn't grabbing me...yet.

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