Release Date: Jul 28, 2008
Record label: Tin Angel
Seb Rochford's Polar Bear named themselves after an animal that can seem cuddly, intimidating and fascinating - adjectives also appropriate for their brilliant third album. The quintet's attractive melding of contemporary jazz with indie, electronica and avant-garde abrasiveness can sound surprisingly delicate. Tomlovesalicelovestom has a light pulse that never sounds trite; Brian features contrapuntal saxophones that seem to come from a swinging parallel universe; Appears, Moves and Sails reassembles jazz and funk like postmodern kit furniture; Tay's tasty reverberation becomes part of the tune.
The third album by Polar Bear suggests that this is a band running out of ideas. Two tenor saxophonists (however talented) gradually assume a rather monochrome quality and even Seb Rochford's imaginative drum playing cannot compensate – a point tacitly acknowledged by the introduction of Leafcutter John on sundry noise-making. Good in small doses.