Poliça: United Crushers | Virgin Media
Poliça: United Crushers

Poliça: United CrushersAlbum review by Matthew Horton | Rating: ★★★☆☆

04/03/2016

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Minneapolis's Poliça are an exercise in stasis, a band who have barely changed a scintilla of their sound since their 2012 debut album Give You The Ghost. That's understandable – they were oh-so-refined to begin with.

If there's been any kind of evolution, it's in perfecting their style even further. Third album United Crushers is synth-pop so shiny you could do your make-up in it, that little bit smoother than their earlier tracks which, if you listened really closely, had the odd, almost imperceptible rough edge.

 

1.	Vito Corleone

Singer Channy Leaneagh remains in lovely voice too, coming on like an urgent Jessie Ware, an ache in her vocals always nudging Poliça towards the forlorn end of the pop spectrum. There's something desperate about her on the otherwise spry Someway and she seems (deliberately) lost among the breakbeats and squiggles of Kind. Poliça are irresistibly drawn towards melancholy.

Poliça are irresistibly drawn towards melancholy

What wouldn't go amiss are a couple of genuinely great tunes. They approach one on the buoyant but sinuous groove of Lately, which – seven tracks in – has the first chorus to cling onto, and Baby Sucks switches direction so often there's always a chance it's going to hit on something truly great. Starbursts of synths flash by and acid jazz chords give way to brass parps as Poliça bring out the defibrillators, but they never quite spark.

It's all too comfortable elsewhere, with Fish and Summer Please wafting around the trip-hop coffee tables, like unlamented mid-90s relics. Because their sound's so pure and clean, Poliça need to be more dynamic more often. They need more of the buzz and swagger of Top Coat, more of the menace of Berlin and, yes, more of Baby Sucks' unresolved adventure. The ingredients are there. Give them a shake.

 

 

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