Album Review: Polish Club’s ‘Now We’re Cookin” is a delicious banquet of pop, flavoured with a hint of darkness.


The Breakdown

'Now We're Cookin'' is a very pleasant ray of sunshine when all else around is dark. And yet this bright ray of colour is a little more nuanced and layered than is expected. This is a band with a presence and diverse sonic textures.
Island Records Australia 8.2

Australia’s Polish Club have just released their album ‘Now We’re Cookin”, and it’s a very pleasant ray of sunshine when all else around is dark. And yet this bright ray of colour is a little more nuanced and layered than is expected. This is a band with a presence and diverse sonic textures: a veritable panoply of tasty ingredients.

There is without doubt an irreverent sense of humour in the title and presentation of the album and the musical beat that flows throughout the album is vivacious and shimmering, and yet there lurks a heart of darkness within.

The first track is the unabashedly dance floor filler of a single ‘Stop For A Minute’, one that, despite the apparent gloss, deals with some not so savoury themes.

The instrumentation is fast and pacy with an insistent rhythm section, and sustained guitars. The high impact vocals add a funky soul touch. This is bright and expressive pop that’s catchy and energising. Of the lyrics, however, David Novak, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist says:

At its core, this song is me trying to deal with our inconsistent acknowledgement of the cavalcade of horrible things done by countless artists in a position of power.

There is a knowledge that nothing ever really comes of these things until the relevance of these artists wane. A good hit is enough for us to all collectively decide it’s not worth dealing with right now – or sometimes ever.

The band decided that the video for their new single was going to contrast the song’s dark themes with something rather mundane. According to drummer John-Henry Pajak:

The only way to be original these days is to be completely unoriginalAlso, people like watching other people try to dance…and people like sandwiches.

Indeed the self-deprecatory sense of humour in the clip by Director Tim Nathan recalls Michael Jackson or Talking Heads green screen-heavy approach, with sandwiches:

This creates a fascinating number of layers – a dichotomy between the dark lyrics and the poppy sound, all wrapped in a video that has its tongue firmly planted in its cheeks.

 ‘No Heaven’ is a powerfully emotive ballad that would deliver an incandescent glow of lighters to any stadium.

There is a tasty jangling guitar that augments the beautiful ethereal vocals as the song builds to a crescendo: an insistent and driving percussion punctuated by faint piano. Singer David Novak’s voice shifts seamlessly from a whisper to a gravel-coated roar: he is the consummate crooner with style and presence.

The video is simple but powerful as the song itself: a one take shot directed by Luke Rodely that captures in monochrome the emotion and strength of the track:

Polish Club are spinning on the dance floor, dropping down and turning around with the ebullient and effervescent track ‘Whack’: a bluesy, soul-soaked whirligig of a track that provides a pulse-quickening aural cleanse. And yet, again, the themes are deadly serious:

Why the hell you judge someone for science, culture, race?/Talking, talking, talking just to justify your place/So what’s the point of all this shouting into the night?/’Cause no one’s tryna take you on.

This is a band that has applied a wide variety of colours to their canvas with the common thread of powerful vocals and shimmering, muscular instrumentation. “Whack’ shows it’s business as usual, all with an arch smile and a knowing glance. Get down.

‘Baby Is Burning’ is something with more of an indie rock flavour with its driving rhythms, crunchy guitars and anthemic balladry. The video maintains the band’s slightly irreverent sense of humour:

‘Now We’re Cookin’’ is out now via Island Records Australia and is available as a limited-edition 180-gram solid blue coloured vinyl, with a full menu of exclusive merchandise available here or to download or stream here.

Polish Club have also announced a string of dates to launch this tasty dish – tickets available here and details below.

Previous Meet: We chat with Holy Holy's Tim Carroll about the new album, writing and recording songs and setting the studio on fire.
Next Track: Melbourne's Dull Reality's imagination sparkles with the atmospheric single 'Push Myself Away'.

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