New Politics

A Bad Girl In Harlem

Written by: HES on 04/10/2013 10:28:39

First off: I had no idea this band was Danish. I accidentally stumbled upon this album shuffling through the Spotify-radio option. I liked a song and put it on my playlist. A couple of weeks later I tuned into Danish radio-channel and heard the same song. Alright you had my curiosity, now you have my attention. Cited as "Dutch" on absolutepunk and completely beneath the radar, this Danish band has done what few have done before them - the beforementioned single "Harlem" off their second album reached a handsome no. 4 on the Billboard Alternative Songs. No matter where you think they're from I'm just trying to put into perspective, that this is not just another band of "local heroes" that I'll praise just because they happen to have the same nationality as me. Actually, I think I'll praise them in spite of it:

Danish rock has always been introvert and dark. Mastodonts like Mew and Veto all share the same commonality of the Danish disease; it's all so serious. You'd think a general concensus of being so "grown up" would create some kind of counter movement. Pin Boys and Rock Hard Power Spray did try during the 00's. But let's just say: There's never really been "Anarchy in the DK". So this is my praise to New Politics: They actually challenge the Danish musical aesthetic with their punkish, distorted sound. This is probably also why a lot of people here have no idea who they are, even though they've made it this far internationally.

The album starts out with the pop-ish "Tonight You're Perfect" that achieves what it needs to in regards of standard high school punk anthems, the catchy chorus and the yelling choir accompagnied by boy'ish vocals by David Boyd. The hit-single is an absolute explosion of energy with classic marching band drums and perfectly, almost radio-distorted vocals over the bombastic chorus. "Overcome" is a classic lazy punk song with a cute little violin-bit in there, but bordering Switchfoot's bore'ish sugarcoating. If you're looking for something to bring it back to punk "Just Like Me" is getting the record back on track, even featuring some off-beat record ska-style. The song is playful in the way pop-punk used to be back in the days when lastnames like Hoppus and DeLonge were dominating all aspects of the genre. But inspite of these great moments of absolute brilliance including the confessional "Fall Into These Arms", the album does include a lesser half of non-impressing songs like the way too generic "Stuck On You" and the hyper-happy "Give Me Hope".

New Politics are winning the game of breaking the Danish mold, but do fall into a few generic cracks when you measure them up to the International standard. They bring new things to the table like spoken word through-out songs and they bring energy which is greatly appreciated. But they also become too generic and on-genre on the slower songs. It's a matter of taste, but I prefer the tongue-in-cheek New Politics over the sugarcoated pop-smiths that are also New Politics. "Harlem" is not just a great shot in the dark - the band has potential, but some parts of the record struggle to reach the same jaw-dropping, bust-a-moving level.

Download: Harlem, Tonight You're Perfect, Just Like Me
For the fans of: AWOLNATION, POP ETC, Neon Trees
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.05.2013
RCA

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