Polemics smashes through the gates with their first offering. The EP, aptly named Conflict comes in with a blistering pace. It’s hardcore and post-punk with the energy dialed up to eleven, gripping the listener from the start in a frenzy of noise and not letting go till the end.
Polemics hails from Bristol and is composed of Nathan Smith and Jeff Ingle. The duo has been entrenched in the local DIY punk scene and is known for their frenetic live shows. This EP captures that feeling perfectly, Ingle’s stellar drumming punches through the mix while Smith’s angry rants sound so visceral that it feels like he’s roaring at your face.
Only three tracks are listed, but each one is so dense that you can still pick up new things after each repeat listen.
The EP opens with ‘Conflict’, which starts with a thundering drum beat and ominous guitar chords. It slowly picks up as the vocals come in, and quickly turns into a thick sludge of noise and volatile energy. Smith’s lyrics are a mix of social commentary and seemingly random tirades with escalating intensity. There’s a vocal sample in the bridge mimicking a news feed that sums it up completely: “We have a live feed of a man literally falling apart.”
‘Halibut’ follows up with a groovy drum and bass. Angular guitar riffs intersperse with the mix and drives the tension in the track. Smith fills the song with various vocal styles, from spiteful rantings, rhythmic 90’s rap to theatric proclamations — as if providing a speech to the starving masses.
‘Pulp’ closes out with its infectious melodies being bombarded by heavy guitars and drums. Clean guitar riffs make an appearance in some of its sections, creating a surprising yet welcome addition to the abrasive soundscape. A dynamic that the band constantly pulls off.
While Conflict is wild and chaotic, it’s production is anything but. Each element is perfectly clear and the mix is crafted masterfully. Listening to this record feels as close as we can to being in a punk live show, which is where this genre really shines.
Polemics provides a short yet densely layered first offering with plenty of promise for the future. Fans of punk and hardcore should put this band on their radar.
The EP was released in July and is available on all streaming platforms.