This new EP from Melbournian hip-hoppers Polo Club sounds like a band getting serious. One to watch ever since 'Put Things Square' dropped, they’ve multiplied from two members to four, and in the process have gone from hip hop to something else. Adding a drummer and vocalist has given the band the opportunity for an exciting live show, as well as the chance to incorporate Rock/Indie influences to their brand of electronic hip hop. Guitars and beats can be an interesting and enjoyable experiment (see N.E.R.D. or early Gym Class Heroes) but on this EP, Polo Club are just finding out what they are, what they’re capable of, and what they want to be.
The single ‘See You Again’ is the best example of the big boy progression that Polo Club are trying to make. While the track is bouncy, enjoyable and memorable, the whole song seems to be building to a climax that never comes. For four minutes, the tight, constricted beat threatens to squeeze the air from my lungs, giving me no reprieve or release till the synths ring out. Still, it’s a slick effort that deserves attention.
‘She Will Never Know’ is a positive, the casual pace highlighting a great vocal melody and it’s wall of sound synths. ‘The View’ is one of the weaker tracks off the EP, which seems weird because it’s the closest sounding song to their previous 2009 album The 13, which I was a big fan of. The minimalist chorus is good but I think this is the where the bands ideas collide, not for the better. ‘Break In Horses’ is another leap of faith, and the furthest the band have travelled into new musical territory. It’s an amiable effort but, inevitably, leads me to indifference.
The fifth and final track, ‘Hold On’, is how it should be done; taking their hip hop DNA and splicing in Indie sensibilities. The solid beat and percussion, mixing with synth swirls, piano melody and some intelligent rapping. If a more mature sound is what they’re after, I think this is a musical template they should use again.
Polo Club are an exciting prospect. For those who have previously known the band, this isn’t the Polo Club you used to know. But, being open to experimentation and evolution makes the band’s potential unlimited. If they continue to progress and improve like they have, I could see a great album or two in their future.
Review Score: 6.8 out of 10