“POLLY are a 4 piece alternative band from Glasgow…. carving their own sound from the sonic ooze” 

In April of this year, POLLY released their second album ‘RINSE & REPEAT (MEALS FOR ONE)’ with a headline at The Old Hairdressers to accompany the launch. 

The 4 members – Cameron Gorman (guitar, vocals), Finn Hennessey (lead guitar), Euan Rollo (drums), and Hamish Gill (bass guitar) – got straight back to work after the release of their debut album ‘SLUMP’ to create a darker and dirtier record. 

The album was recorded live with Luc Grindle at Chime Studios over the span of 3 days. On the second and third day, friend of the band Jordin Revel joined the session to record a spoken word section which features on the closing track. It’s clear that going into this project, POLLY were prepared to make an excellent album and it shows great promise for their future works. 

The album presents a journey of raw emotions as the main subject – The Cowboy – goes through an identity crisis and spirals into madness. With this central theme, the album is best enjoyed in one sitting, allowing the listener to hear its progression from a clearer and more focused sound into a wilder soundscape. 

THE DEATH OF A COWBOY has a moody, mellow sound with its atmospheric guitars, steady drum pattern, and deep lead vocals. As the atmosphere builds, the bass and drums become more present and out of nowhere, the listener is given a jolt of adrenaline by a thunderous crack of guitars which bleed into the start of the next track. 

MOTHER KNOWS BEST introduces a tighter sound with a driving rhythm guitar and a stronger vocal presence. Hamish and Euan are locked into each other and help give this track its powerful sound. Nearing the end of the song, we hear an alternation between 6/8 and 7/8 time signatures, and all the instruments blend into one to play a series of satisfying riffs. To signify the end, we hear the bright bells of a rotary phone which sits in contrast to the song, giving it an ominous quality.

PROJECT 46 is another rhythmically driving song. It begins with a lead guitar repeating a pattern of bright notes which shine through the tom-heavy drum beat and a rock-steady bass line. Cameron then introduces his vocals which start with a gentler approach and progress into a grungier style. In the outro, the band plays a bass-heavy riff which ends the song swiftly and we are left with the swaying drone of an electric guitar to lead us onward. 

I’VE BEEN AT THIS PARTY FOR 45 MINUTES……AND I WANT TO GO HOME are sister songs. The former starts with a punchy drum beat and a crunchy rhythm guitar, giving this song its grungy sound. Hamish joins in with a glistening bass tone which soon becomes fuller in the first verse. The track then takes on a gentler tone with a 60s psych-rock guitar and spacious arrangement before it goes fully psychedelic with a storm of overlapping voices in the breakdown. Continuing in a heavy stride, the track is stripped back for a moment to allow the fade into …AND I WANT TO GO HOME, which begins with some intricate hi-hat work from Euan and sees the band shift into a more noise-rock style. With its wailing guitars and overwhelming ambience, the album is truly in a spiral toward madness. To tie up this song, POLLY can no longer resist from alternating time signatures, switching between measures of 7 and 8 to build a barrage of noise which ends the track abruptly.

WAKEY WAKEY is where POLLY focuses on creating a symphonious soundscape with sustained guitar notes and ethereal vocals. Each overlapping guitar note gently weaves in and out of harmony with the other, creating pockets of euphoria in an otherwise uneasy environment. This track reminds us of the concept of the album: The Cowboy’s mental decline and spiral toward becoming MADMAN. 

This final track is where the band returns to familiar surroundings; a powerful sound with rhythmic harmony, hypnotic guitars, heavy riffs, and a driving beat. Fading in from WAKEY WAKEY, MADMAN starts with all the instruments slowly getting heavier and dirtier, backing off briefly for Cameron to introduce his vocals. The heavy rhythm of this track drives us onward to Jordin Revel’s spoken word section. He is supported by a tumultuous mix of instruments which contrast his clear and deep vocal tone, as does Cameron’s final vocal lines which he delivers in a delicate style. Coming to the outro, Eaun plays a more spaced out, cymbal-heavy beat as Jordin recites his spoken word once again. The track steadily winds down after Jordin’s final stanza and the listener is left with the decaying feedback of an electric guitar to bring the album to an end. 

POLLY have been able to present the concept of this album through its arrangement, instrumentation, and lyrical content. The decision to record each track live gives the album an energy and style that is maintained throughout, lending an element of cohesion in a journey of rapidly changing emotions. If you wish to support POLLY and learn more about them, follow the link to their Instagram and be sure to catch their next live performance at Mash House on the 12th of July.