EP Review: Polemics – The Sesh

Hailing from Bristol, Polemics are the alternative rock duo of Nathan Smith and Jeff Ingle with influences including The Mars Volta and Smashing Pumpkins. Their new EP The Sesh is a bruising affair and one they describe as “four brand new sleep paralysis bedtime stories.” Here’s our track by track review.

By Graeme Smith

Opening with its title track, The Sesh lulls you into a sense of false security with its low-noise but high-energy string-plucking intro. After an extended preamble, the guys come at you with their full force including moody bass and licks of electric guitar. Before you know it, you’re grooving to a disco beat and the whole track is rounded off through desperate, screamed vocals.

It’s followed by the free-wheeling Prangergang. It’s rich with storytelling lyrics, full of nihilistic descriptions of being out but not having fun. The guitar riffs are scuzzy, the bass is meandering and the drums hit hard. Through it all though, the melody stays memorable and approachable. It’s a hard balance to strike but Polemics do it.

Proceedings are slowed down by Arm out of Mouth, with Goth undertones and vocals that spew languid poetry in the mould of The Smiths. It’s at this point of the EP that a came to realise just how good Polemics are at making classic rock influences their own. Their influences are clear, but I’ve never heard anything like them.

The EP’s final track Datais speeds things up again with math rock staccato rhythms and relentless guitar playing. The vocals are pure operatic drama and its chanting chorus will stick with you. A rumbling mid-song breakdown prepares you for quick-fire conclusion.

Just like that, in less than fifteen minutes, the EP is all over. It’s a sound that lingers though, and the four tracks come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. I’m pretty sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Polemics too. You can check out The Sesh below.