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Poliça: United Crushers [Slipcase] *

Track List

>Summer Please
>Lime Habit
>Melting Block
>Top Coat
>Baby Sucks
>Lose You

Album Reviews:

NME (Magazine) - "If this really is Poliça's 'final paper', then they've excelled themselves with the most intimate and empowering album of their career."

Pitchfork (Website) - "Though not exactly a departure from Poliça's sound, UNITED CRUSHERS' arrangements are cleaner, far less dense, and often poppier."

Clash (magazine) - "[T]his third stab sees the group utilising what's previously worked while adding a good spoonful of experimentation."

Album Notes

Personnel: Chris Bierden (vocals); Ryan Olson, Jeremy Nutzman (synthesizer); Drew Christopherson, Ben Ivascu (drums).

Audio Mixers: Ryan Olson; Mike McCarthy.

Recording information: Sonic Ranch, El Paso, TX.

Arranger: Ryan Olson.

Poliça gave their music shape on Shulamith, but on United Crushers, they give it an edge. Frontwoman Channy Leaneagh envisioned the band's third album as a set of modern protest songs -- which makes sense, considering that they worked on it while riots broke out in their hometown of Minneapolis -- and they bring more purpose and urgency to their atmospheric sound than ever before. On Give You the Ghost and Shulamith, the sheer beauty of the music sometimes made it easy to dismiss the substance of the songs, but here, Leaneagh and company deal in issues and emotions that won't be ignored. "Summer Please" opens the album with an arresting and evocative statement of purpose: at first, Leaneagh's voice is pitched down to a sludgy baritone as she tells a baby "it's all shit," and as the song's churning angst eventually gives way to a kinetic beat, it feels like purging apathy. From there, the band combines the personal and the political, the abstract and the explicit, and imbues the textures of its music with deeper meaning; the dreamy washes and hard-hitting drums on songs such as "Top Coat" sound like a clash between ideals and reality. While "Wedding" gives the weightiness of Poliça's concerns its full due ("Saying hands up/The bullets in"), not all of United Crushers is so grim. "Someway" transforms the album's intensity into dynamic sensuality, while "Baby Sucks" is both icy and smoldering. Elsewhere, the band's restlessness is reflected in its still-inventive combinations of indie, R&B, and electronic sounds. While many other acts blended and broke those boundaries in the years after Give You the Ghost, sonically and emotionally complex tracks like "Lately" and "Lose You" serve as reminders that Poliça excel at it. As its title suggests, United Crushers is driven by the seemingly contradictory desires to bring things together and break them apart, but Poliça bring them into harmony with a gloves-off fearlessness, resulting in their most impassioned and immediate music yet. ~ Heather Phares


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