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Music Review: Polica, ‘Raw Exit’

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on June 18, 2014

Polica have just released a ‘deluxe edition’ of their brilliant 2012 album Shulamith, and added four new track onto the original 12. The four new tracks are really really good. Every one of them.

From the first moments of Raw Exit, I knew this was something special. Heavy, deliberate beats, a funky bass line and repetitive trip hop-vocals that are are relatively monotone, but husky and sensual enough that it’s so, so far from the boring picture that ‘monotone’ evokes.

Some serious Portishead and Massive Attack influence going into this one, methinks. I really liked synth licks that shoot and soar from beat to beat and really added a lot to the track. The breakdown near the end is so fucking cool, too, it just gets all fuzzy and trickly in a way that’s almost unsettling.

Baby Blue is faster, punchier. There’s some really fluid, organic drum work going on in this one. Combined with that oh-so-sexy bass, and contrasted with the high vocals, it takes on a strange feel, being both full and minimalist all at once. It really resonates and echoes, I imagine it’d sound phenomenal in the live setting.

Growing more frantic by the second, Great Regret blasts in from the very start. This is a heavier track and the melody features some pretty grungey moments. Synth features more in this track, but it doesn’t detract from the richly bass-heavy feel of it all. Polica seriously own the concept of a breakdown. They time, and utilise it perfectly in each track, without overdoing it even the slightest.

You Don’t Own Me, originally by Leslie Gore, opens with a raunchy Western guitar riff and a swingin’ melody that’s so opposite to the last three songs. I love the stark division between verses and chorus in this one – the verses are dark, almost sinister, with a sensual syncopated beat. On the other hand, the chorus becomes something of a lovelorn ballad. It even transposes halfway through and continues ballooning upwards towards the end. What an awesome cover.

Considering that Polica are considered a ‘synth-pop’ band, I was really impressed by the amount that drums and bass was featured on these tracks. Synth is used throughout, but it really takes a backseat to the rhythm section. It’s not something you hear too often these days, and it’s really cool.

Shulamith: Deluxe Edition is out now!




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