Tuesday 27 November 2012

POLIO - The Krill Is Dry - EP Review

If you know anything about Polio, you'll know that they don't abide by the status quo in any respect. Infact I'd hedge my bets that they aren't particularly fond of the band, Status Quo - that's how un-status quo they are.

 You might therefore consider Polio as a punk band, which would entail that the band are anti-establishment and reject mainstream tendencies. This is a half-truth. Yes they think everything is bollocks, but the manner in which they do it isn't what I'd deem as punk - it's cleverer than that, infact many / most of their songs consist of very pop and mainstream influences.  For instance, their previous debut EP,  entitled Pig Heart Boy is named after a wanky late 90's BBC television series in which a boy is given a heart transplant to save his life, it worked!...but wait for it, here's the twist, his heart was swapped with a pig's heart!

More ironic citations of popular yet somehow obscure themes are evident throughout their musical oeuvre, starting with the bands very name - Polio ; Thom, Carl and Carlos' previous musical endeavor was a band called 'Fresh Legs'....now compare this with 'Polio', a disease which can severely wither the legs, and you can already understand what direction the band is moving before they've even picked up an instrument. Other obscure pop culture references include mentions of Master Chef and Wes Anderson in their song lyrics as well as track names from their EP's, such as:Razumikhin,  Oliver Cromwell, and Lava.

 With a certain amount of pastiche and irony, Polio's music does what punk music does without being so fucking obvious, and with a few more ideas up their crumb encrusted sleeves. They 'celebrate' pop culture with screams, heavy riffs, sporadic drumming patterns and bizarre breakdowns, all of which create a surreal listening experience - like listening to a gang of clowns make a child laugh and then proceed to throttle the child for laughing.  Unfortunately that listening experience doesn't have a genre, so the most consistent allocation of genre for Polio would probably be 'Mathcore' - although it still makes me feel uneasy to classify them as such. 

Polios latest offering, The Krill Is Dry, is a no holds barred 6 track EP that will leave you rubbing your nipples in delight (or alternatively, shielding your arse in disgust). 

 It opens with an intro track which i always think is a good start because it means that the band actually care about the listening experience of the EP and don't just want to create klub bangerz. 

After setting a foreboding tension with their purely instrumental intro, we are then met with a host of klub bangerz

In track 2,  Skooma, the listener is straight away metaphorically punched in the sternum by strong throaty vocals, heavy drumming and thrashy guitar and flows in and out of heavy break downs that culminate in another punch in the sternum to round the track off. This track let's you know that Polio are heavier and more twisted than ever.

The third track, They Came Bounding Over, once again punches the aforementioned sternum and leads to a fantastic middle section (reminiscent of Test Icicles but not as queer), that hardcore lovers could definitely two-step to (but they won't because they are too busy straightening their hair). The track then falls into a dichotomy of weird guitar back and forths and intricate drumming until the track seeps out into a slow and heavy chorus of "HOLD HER DOWN".

Track 4 is called Women that Explode, this song, like many of Polio's songs has swearing in it.

Track 5 - Lava, is named after a crap late night music channel on Sky (channel 378).  However tongue and cheek the song may be, a late verse about the fable of Icarus spat out by Thom genuinely exudes a butt-load of pathos and his muffled screams of "ICARUS" chill to the bone. 

The sixth and final track of the EP is entitled Low Self Esteem Week and begins with a purposefully tinny solo drum intro, met with Polio's self confessional, funny and sarcastic lyrics, and the recurring gang vocals that have been put to good use throughout the EP.   The track ends with a two minute instrumental decline which acts as the EP's outro, and just like the intro, it ends with a curious a sense of foreboding, which will leave you feeling paranoid and insecure, like a 13 year old girl that has just had her first period whilst listening to Nirvana.

you can buy the EP here it's fucking great! 

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