Polaris – The Guilt & The Grief (2016)


Sydney’s Polaris has been hinting at greatness since they dropped the single ‘Regress’ in 2016 (see my write up on that here) and caused quite a bit of buzz getting solid reviews, airplay and a bunch of great slots around the country since.

The much awaited release of this EP has attracted the same concerns many young bands draw when making waves in a fickle and ever trending sub-culture…particularly will it live up to the hype? Can the end product actually deliver or at best meet the anticipation levels that have been peaking since late last year?

The answer is fuck yes.

Listening to this reminds me of what it felt like when House Vs Hurricanes ‘Forfeiture’ dropped. When City Escapes ‘Avalanches’ dropped or Dream On Dreamers ‘Hope’ dropped and when Closure in Moscow’s ‘The Patience and the Penance’ dropped.

Adding this one to the list.

The choruses embedded within these juggernaut tracks are reminiscent of the Amity Affliction’s approach to sing-alongable and catchy hooks but the relationship between the heavy and the catchy parts is a more of a symbiosis than a juxtaposition. The melodies appear sung, screamed and called out all throughout the material and it all just works. Nothing feels forced or tokenistic. (unlike aforementioned band)

As far as contrast and dynamics there’s a whole range of highlights ranging from djenty staccato explosions, techy riff sections, lead breaks and shredding, post-rock ambience and a walls of guitars. For a heavy band, Polaris are surprisingly accessible and easy to listen to but there’s still a depth to the material which I think will help it’s shelf life and maintain appeal after the veneer of those earlier cuts wears off.

The singular criticism I have for this EP is the kick drum. The loudest thing on this recording (despite the many ways I’ve listened to it) fights against the mix in almost every place. Poor form Mr Engineer.

Anyway..they’ll be huge. This is the start.

Get on board now.





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