It’s not very often that you hear a record and are absolutely blown to smithereens within 30 seconds. That happened to me yesterday in finally getting mitts on the eponymous debut EP by Sydney two-piece Polish Club.
It’s mind-boggling the utter simplicity behind this record, two musicians recording rock and roll so deliciously lo-fi that you can almost hear their feet shuffling over the carpet in the garage they surely recorded this in. And it’s all the more amazing for it. There are flashes of early Kings Of Leon, The White Stripes as well as their garage forebears in bands like Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Johnny’s own New York Dolls and of course, MC5.
Kickoff tune Able is one of the best opening tracks I’ve heard all year, a slight pause, a breath leading in, before guitars with the gain and volume nailed to the highest setting punch their way through whatever speakers you’re listening through and make themselves at home for this and the next six tracks. Frontman Novak attacks the microphone with possibly the best pure rock and roll voice I’ve heard in quite some time.
If Dave Grohl and Sam from Future Islands went through the matter transporter in The Fly, this is what their half-half clone would sound like. That’s as best as I can describe it. It’s such a distinct voice, one that can switch from snarling to crooning on a dime. Despite its unbridled ferocity, Able remains measured at the same time. It’s anthemic and just beautiful, raw rock and roll.
The rest of the EP does not disappoint.
Beeping is the second song up and it has instantly catapulted its way into my ongoing ‘Top 10 of 2015′ list. It’s a toe-tapper. A foot-stomper. A leg-shaker. It’s an absolutely raucous slab of garage rock with the energy levels at maximum capacity. It’s, quite simply, the finest rock and roll song I’ve heard all year.
Don’t Fuck Me Over sounds like the kind of rockabilly ballad your grandparents had ‘milkshakes and chill’ to back in the 50s, spun through a tumbledryer full of grit and grime and a heavy dose of fuzz. Only Child picks up the pace again, continuing with the vintage rock and roll chord progression and overall vibe with a handclap chorus over jarring guitar riffs.
Forever Whatever opens with a series of huge stop-start riffs, frontman Novak showing remarkable restraint in his crooning over the top of them. The guitars and drums rise to a crescendo to close it out and we’ve already arrived at the final track. Did Somebody Tell Me is a chicken-fried two minute slice of warp-speed lo-fi punk rock that leaves you wanting so, so much more.
And then it’s over. And if you’re not rewinding it back to Able and giving this another red hot go through then I don’t know what’s wrong. The only fault I can find with the Polish Club EP is that it’s only six tracks long and left me utterly fiending for more. These two talented Sydneysiders have dropped, for me, the rock and roll record of 2015. An absolute ripper from start to finish, without an ounce of fat on it.
Perhaps my biggest regret this year was not catching their set at this year’s BIGSOUND festival, because these are the kind of songs that would just explode in a live environment. Fingers crossed they’re back on the road sooner rather than later to rectify that for me. All in, just the most auspicious of debuts from Polish Club and one that screams of some huge things to come.