Imagine the musical child of Phoenix and The Strokes with dashes of Modest Mouse thrown in. Valencia based band Polock is such child. Their debut album, “Getting Down From the Trees”, released in April of last year, was most likely the soundtrack to many summers, bursting with sunshine, incredibly catchy hooks, and some great songwriting. It’s not the most experimental or groundbreaking record I’ve heard by a long shot, but when the record is on, none of that really matters.
To be fair, in the description I mentioned before, I should probably point out that it’s a relationship in which the Frenchmen contributed a hell of a lot more genes. In fact, most of Polock’s songs could easily be mistaken for Phoenix tunes. Light synths adorn songs with a heavy emphasis on jangly guitars and catchy vocal melodies sung in a barely intelligible English accent.
The songs on “Getting Down From the Trees” are polished to perfection; Polock manage to successfully straddle the fine line between overproduction and an underground sound, with just the right amount of sugar. It’s like taking a song from Phoenix’s back catalogue, particularly “It’s Never Been Like That” and infusing it with The Strokes’ swagger, hooks and garage band polish.
“Fireworks” is the best song on the record and is indie pop at its best. The guitars are on point, the synths are repetitive in just the right way, the energy is pumping, and the chorus is absolutely irresistible. It’s a short burst of adrenaline that’s just about the best musical pick-me-up you’ll find.
The band, formed by Papu on guitar and vocals, Pablo on guitar, Alberto on keyboards, Sebas on bass and Marc on drums, demonstrate that they are more than capable of writing strong tunes but at times show that they can get just a tad bit too carried away in their influences. There’s a guitar line on “Tenderlies” that sounds eerily similar to Phoenix’s “1901” off the fantastic “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” and “Faster Love”, as a whole, reminds me of “One Time Too Many” (one of Phoenix’s best songs, in my opinion) from WAM’s predecessor, the underrated “It’s Never Been Like That”.
I don’t really have a problem with bands embracing their influences, as long as they’re able to maintain an identity of their own. And, if you can overlook the obvious Phoenix comparisons, I highly recommend you check out Polock’s debut. At it’s best it’s some of the best indie pop around. The hooks get burned into your subconscious and you’ll most likely singing the choruses in “High on Life” or “Sometimes” in the most unexpected of places.