After an intense two years of touring, Channy Leaneagh and her band took the winter of 2015 to wind down in El Paso, Texas, to work on POLIÇA’s third full length. ‘United Crushers’ maintains their easily identifiable sound, which is still percussion-heavy and synth-driven, but delves deeper into the moral and social psyche of 21st century issues, to create something that oversteps the preceding collections.
Upon first listen, the biggest difference in the sound is Leaneagh’s lack of vocal effects in comparison to the previous material – to really identify the themes found on ‘United Crushers’, she has left her takes bare and raw. She explores everything from the personal to the political, touching on social injustice, self-doubt and isolation, the urban decline and gentrification, overcoming music industry machinations, and finding true and honest love in the wake of it all. ‘Wedding’ is the perfect illustration for the new politically dissatisfied band. Attacking the system, it addresses the topical issue of police brutality in a cleverly written way, which is harshly beat into the static of the thorny backing track.
Musically, the new production surpasses previous efforts in the way that it appears dense with more complex arrangements, yet simultaneously remains a pleasant listen. It’s almost danceable. Its propulsion coexists neatly with its melancholic temperament, creating a dark and doleful record that flows rhythmically with the natural and the mechanical (two key elements, which POLIÇA base their entire sound upon; the perfect marriage of machines and real instruments).
POLIÇA continue to execute something that each time steps on from the next, altogether crafting their dystopian vision in a well-made body of work. ‘United Crushers’ carries deeper, darker messages than the other albums. It stands above them with its beliefs proudly on its sleeve, proving POLIÇA’s intelligence and apprehension in today’s modern creative climate.
‘United Crushers’ is out March 4th
Words by Jack Stevens