Album Review: United Crushers – Poliçia
A stagnant economy, laughable diplomats, global warming. It doesn’t take a long look to see why young people are increasingly disillusioned with politics. Put brazenly and with no pretence, “It’s all shit.”
So begins Poliça’s lead single ‘Summer Please’ on United Crushers, their self described protest album. Known for synth laden songs, dreamy vocals and cryptic lyrics, Poliça are by no means your traditional strikers on the picket line. It’s a curious combination, for sure. But with heavy references to social injustice, gentrification and police corruption, one thing becomes clear. United Crushers is a brave album.
On ‘Wedding’ lead vocalist Channy Leaneagh sings with crystalline resonance. The song paints a dystopian picture of police brutality, gun violence and racial tension – but it’s a scene that’s not too far from recent events that erupted in Poliça’s hometown, Minneapolis. To their detriment, it’s sometimes hard to hear beyond the droning melodies and Leaneagh’s heavily autotuned vocals. ‘Wedding’, like much of United Crushers, is the kind of song that could easily go unheard and misunderstood.
Poliça have said that the album is “heavily political and deeply personal” but also about “finding true and honest love in the wake of it all.” Unfortunately, it is clear that Poliça are at their strongest when they stick to exploring the latter. Songs like ‘Some Way’ and ‘Lately’ are standout ballads, where the band trades in the industrial sound found on the rest of the album for something a little more melodic. The overhanging feeling of despair clears, and we’re given something to hold on to.
As a self described politically-disillusioned young person, I really wish that I loved this record. There is so much to be said about systemic inequality, political engagement and injustice. Despite undeniable talent, Poliça falls just short. It’s not for a lack of trying, though. United Crushers is intelligent and it is brave, but it doesn’t stay with you in the way that an album like this should.
‘United Crushers is out now on Pod through Inertia.
Review by Rhosian Woolridge.