Polaris gear up for LP #2.
The self-questioning, depression-grappling tone of “Is it me that’s making me sick?” on ‘Masochist‘ marks the first new cut from Polaris in two years, culled from their yet-to-be-fully-revealed second LP. An upcoming record that is set to drop in 2020, and will no doubt be a release that’ll take the hard-working Sydney metalcore act up to the next level of touring, success, and popularity.
As a song, ‘Masochist‘ is very much just “Metalcore 2019™️©️®️,” featuring many of the songwriting traits you’d anticipate from a band like Polaris these days. Whether it’s the techy, August Burns Red-esque guitar runs, the big hooky choruses, Jamie Hails‘ impassioned screams (actually my favourite aspect, as his subtle voice cracks make the song emotionally hit hard at various points), the outro’s heavier breakdown passage, or the higher-octave, melodic guitars leads heard over said breakdown. This is pure Polaris, through and through, even with the boxy, bottom-heavy snare drum. Fans will love it because it’s just more Polaris, but people who don’t like ’em most likely won’t have their minds changed by ‘Masochist‘ for precisely the exact same reasoning.
Outside of the choruses feeling like they get in the way of the larger songs energy and pacing, the strangest thing about ‘Masochist‘ is how with its debut last night on Triple J, both the ABC and Polaris themselves in their own press release mention how they’ve attempted something different. Referring to this song’s intro of an ambient, cleaner guitar figure sitting under Jamie’s intimate, softly sung vocals. (Vocals which have come a long way in the last two years.) Even as someone who isn’t the biggest fan of Polaris, saying that’s never been attempted before in their music is kinda odd, as ‘Dusk To Day‘ – the seventh track from their 2017 debut LP, ‘The Mortal Coil‘ – exists; starting out in a similar manner, with the only difference being that that song has some drums and bass in its intro. If that’s what people are now considering as being fully “different”, then that’s honestly quite concerning.
Check out the compelling Ed Reiss-shot video for ‘Masochist‘ below, which also stars Zac Britt (Dream On, Dreamer, Young Lions), and who even contributed some of the paintings that are shown in the clip.