POLAR- Iron Lungs

You have to be up close to this to feel the heat. Oh yeah, despite that band name there’s definitely a fire here, but the debut album from Guildford five-piece Polar is a little too small, a little too samey to truly impress. Opener ‘K.C.M.’ is all teeth and claws and killer guitar tone, ‘Bruiser’, actually one of the less punishing tracks here, gets by on brilliant textures and a big finish, and ‘H.E.L.L.’ gets its filthy nasty job done just like Gallows, but there are few other highlights. There are almost identical tones, dynamics and running times for each track and rather than make this easier to digest multiple listens only muddle the issue further. Where the best of British punk always feels bloodthirsty and relentless, too often it feels like Polar are tensing up here, almost shrinking away, playing well within their abilities, rather than ever exploding. ‘Iron Lungs’ is a record dealing in glancing blows rather than knockout hits then but there is dark and menacing potential here.

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