Norma Jean’s Polar Similar dances alongside Wrongdoers, but also finds itself trailing off into unfamiliar ground with a recognizable yet experimental sound. It manages to polarize their previous discography just enough, so that though slightly similar is apparently and intentionally different, creating what is one of the most revolutionary returns to music and one of the most cohesive, powerful albums of 2016. Polar Similar provides further proof to our belief that Norma Jean will never do us wrong.
Norma Jean are one of those bands that sticks with you. No matter how much you mature, how much your music taste changes, Norma Jean’s always there. Their ability to stay relevant in such a widely changing and developing scene is unparalleled. With Polar Similar, Norma Jean have continued to expand upon a more mature sound that jives along with the likes of Thrice and Deftones, but also breaks down with the likes of Every Time I Die and He Is Legend. The atmosphere of the record is perhaps its biggest strong suit as the instruments build slowly only to eventually explode with the power of 1,000,000,000 watts, which is only further strengthened by the highly dynamic and mighty vocals of Cory Brandan.
The album starts off with “I. The Planet,” which is drenched in the mood of the record and perfectly sets you up for the experience that is the next twelve songs. Right from the get go, the brutality of the record is juxtaposed with finesse, expanding upon a well-mixed concoction of Wrongdoers and earlier releases like Meridional. Everything that screams Norma Jean was celebrated in this record from their Southern roots with the slide guitar in “III. The Nebula,” to their brute force of a nature in “1,000,000 Watts.” Not a single stone went unturned during the making of Polar Similar and every single member had their chance to shine. In the end, that is what made this album truly special; the fact that this is an album you can tell Norma Jean were proud of, a record they poured their heart and soul into. Once you hear the immense amount of passion and drive Norma Jean translated onto record, you’ll quickly realize that they are anything but similar and nothing but extraordinary.
Make sure you check out or pick up Norma Jean’s release, Polar Similar, below, and share your thoughts on the record in the comments.
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