Style: Hard Rock
Release Date: 14 Jun 2019
Sites: Bandcamp | Facebook | Official Website | Twitter
Pölisong come from Galicia in the northeast corner of Spain. In fact, in Ferrol, they're even closer to the northeast corner than Mileth down the coast in Vigo. They've been around since 2011 but I believe this is their debut album and it's a varied affair but the more I listen to it, the more consistent it becomes.
That's because they don't take their inspiration from any one band but from an interesting variety of them, merging those sounds into something new. My Way, for instance, opens up the album in relatively commercial fashion. The band say that they worship Scandinavian bands like Hellacopters and Backyard Babies and there's certainly a lot of Hellacopters here, but there's some Black Crowes too. It's radio friendly stuff, catchy and easy to listen to.
The title track sounds like AC/DC from the outset but with a very different vocal approach. It reminds of the Cult for a while and then REM, eventually reaching a delightful female voice singing a pop chorus that's something else entirely. And then Electric Girl ups the fuzz and distortion to point as much to a stoner influence as the spaced out seventies cover art. Maybe that's Electric Girl emerging from a cave.
Trying to connect all these different sounds is fun and it requires that we listen to the whole album a few times to really quantify what's happening. I felt that nothing here was particularly Spanish, for a start. Often I felt that the music sounded more British but the vocals were more American, even with frequent nods to Paul Rodgers. It's fair to suggest that both sides of that are filtered through the bands Pölisong like from Scandinavia.
But that's not enough. Space Traveller marks another shift, halfway between the Cult and Lenny Kravitz. Darkness and Light is a quieter song, a southern ballad in many ways. Woman looks further back to an acoustic Led Zeppelin vibe. In other words, there's a heck of a lot here that we don't tend to see combined on one album by one band. That's a good thing.
If there's a primary influence above all others, I'd suggest the Cult, but there are no songs here that sound entirely like the Cult. The closest is Thunderbolt, which betrays that influence overtly to begin with, picking up an increasingly psychedelic vibe as it moves on. What's fascinating to me is that the Cult took so much of their sound from the Doors, but that band does not leap to mind here at all.
Sometimes albums that wander around the musical map work really well but it isn't a given. Some are praiseworthy for their variety, while others become inconsistent and confusing. This is a lot closer to the praiseworthy end as there is a general sound here that's all Pölisong and manifests itself over a lot of good songs. There are a few obvious singles and a few obvious deep cuts.
I just wish I knew how to describe the band as against any of those songs in isolation. They're a commercial melodic rock band knocking out catchy three or four minute radio friendly songs with ease. But they're also a much more inventive album oriented outfit writing six or seven minute songs that don't sound like each other. It's those two Pölisongs I can't quite tie together. But hey, at the end of the day, they sound good. That's what matters.