Change brings both a new outlook and new detractors. Ask Jimmy Stadt, vocalist for upstate New York post-hardcore outfit Polar Bear Club, whose newfound vocal range brings a sheen to Polar Bear Club's tight pop-rock structures that can still open up a pit. On Death Chorus, the band's fourth release since their formation in 2005, Stadt's wonderfully descriptive imagery meets a guitar-forward sound that's nothing short of unadulterated fun, with a few pensive moments sprinkled in for contrast.
While Death Chorus is a rollocking, reflective slice of pop-rock to the untrained ear, Stadt's vocal approach was met with reproach and confusion by diehard fans. He says that his range changed out of the blue, even with a clean bill of health from a otolaryngologist, but despite the change, Stadt's lyricism is stronger than ever. Polar Bear Club has been together for almost ten years, and Death Chorus feels like the culmination of Stadt's experience looking both forward and backward.
"I just like lyricists that are unique and funny and sad, [with] kind of a journalistic approach to themselves," he says. "My standards vastly surpass my skills, so it takes me a while to get the lyrics accurate and right, and then people hear the way it sounds and are like, 'Oh, fuck this.' I'm like, 'No, please read a lyric or two before you get to 'fuck this.''"