Polica mastered the art of echoic, bass-heavy, genre-defying alt.rock at the Rescue Rooms. A captivating display of ethereal emotion.
Date: August 14, 2014
Venue: Rescue Rooms
There’s a thirst for wistful, ethereal female-fronted bands right now. London Grammar are the torch bearers with their yearning dream-pop, while Chvrches’ icy electronica and inherent cool has won many a heart.
So Polica may well be able to ride those bands’ coat tails, although technically, they should be front runners, being the oldest of that particular triumvirate.
But they’ve found the mainstream hard to crack, even while the zeitgeist is so malaible right now.
This Minneapolis foursome certainly lack none of the attributes seemingly needed to bother the charts. They’re smart, cool, sophisticated and uber-stylish.
Leading lady Channy Leaneagh is quiet, calm and calculated. She has the look of an intellectual woman, her hair short, her jeans and shirt combo minimalistic, whilst her voice is searching and strong, echoic and drenched in reverb; like London Grammar’s Hannah Reid but without the warble. She’s also borrowed some dance moves off of Joy Division’s late great lead singer, Ian Curtis, all sharp movements and unpredictable outbursts.
Swelling around her is a heady mash of synth-pop versus Lo-Fi post-punk, with blemishes of trip-hop and, at times, kraut-rock. Theirs is a melting pot of genres boiling steadily to create an intoxicating elixir.
The band’s name – Polish for policy – reeks of authority, corporacy and bleakness, and they push home that notion with a domineering attitude abetted by a backdrop of a bloodied, vulnerable topless woman while two competing drummers and a bulging bass rhythm nudges at cold laptop-forged layered samples menacingly.
Their pinnacle is recent single Chain My Name, its squiggly, squalling – almost Alt-J-ish – composition of authoritarian values intertwining seamlessly with a rare playfulness. With that said, it keeps itself grounded to the band’s fundamental Lo-Fi foundations.
Polica are harder on the ears than the aforementioned charting bands, but no less impressive.