Anymore, in today’s punk scene, it seems like every band has to have a shtick or a gimmick. Whether it’s loads of glitter and guyliner, a dancing keyboardist or someone puking blood, they all strive for that little extra something that separates them from the pack. But sometimes, a band comes along so well formed from the offset that they don’t need some garish hook to draw you in, they can win your heart with nothing more than a few simple, well-worn chords and a couple of charming tales to go along with them.
Syracuse’s Polar Bear Club are one of those bands, forged from little more than grit, sweat and a lot of long nights spent living, longing and loving. Their debut full-length, Sometimes Things Just Disappear, is the missing link between Lucero and Jawbreaker; a rough-hewn collection of gritty, sing-along/shout-along anthems about girls, drinking, mortality and all points in-between. They’d have you believe they’re rugged punk warriors, but whether they’re dripping honeyed harmonies over grizzled power-chords (“Another Night in the Rock”) or writing timeless paeans to lost innocence and the pure pleasures of youth (“Our Ballads” and “Tried”), they’re never anything less than your favorite new tattered-heart sporting blue collar rock ‘n’ roll heroes.