There’s enthusiasm enough to carry Polock into at least a minor cluster of hearts.
Mike Diver 2011-05-03
Valencia-based five-piece Polock are purveyors of sprightly, summery indie-pop; writers of the lightweight kind of easy-on-the-ear, fuzzy-at-the-edges hooks and melodies which have served the continental likes of Phoenix so well in the past. They clearly take several cues from the other side of the Atlantic, too – nods to The Strokes aren’t exactly abundant, but certainly noticeable when made, such as in the choppy, trebly guitars of Tenderlies – but deliver a sun-kissed sound that is as reliant on their home country’s clement climate as it is any emissions from another country’s scenes.
Similarities to evident influences can always be forgiven on a debut – despite increasing pressure on new bands to deliver something of satisfying substance at the first time of asking, it’s generally unlikely that an initial LP will be a definitive statement. Unless, of course, you’re called Arctic Monkeys; or, indeed, The Strokes. Fans of both will find plenty to enjoy here: the rise-and-fall bass bounce of Defenceless is certain to set the stiffest of toes tapping; Fireworks is all hand-claps and smile-along positive vibes, perhaps the closest this set comes to matching the vibrancy of Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus… album; and Sometimes possesses a carefree instrumental swing that acts as an upbeat counterweight to the lyrical melancholy at play.
If one was to be incredibly harsh on Polock, they could conclude that Getting Down from the Trees offers nothing new, and subsequently should be relegated from the ever-expanding throng of rising acts worth keeping at least one ear tuned into. But originality is only one factor in the success of a band – it’s not like the incredibly popular likes of Friendly Fires and Kings of Leon aren’t essentially a clever combination of box-ticking constituents – and so splendid is the execution here that the Spaniards can be confident that a second album will be warmly welcomed. If they’ve not found more of themselves amongst the commonplace cornerstones propping this LP up, then critics will gladly stick the knife in. But, for now, there’s gleeful enthusiasm enough to carry these five musicians into at least a minor cluster of hearts.