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    'Polymer'

      Bluetip - 'Polymer'  
    I love an album title that gets you reaching for the dictionary: ‘eponymous’, ‘trompe le monde’ and now Bluetips’ latest record Polymer adds another adjective to my shameful vocabulary. This, their third full- length release on Dischord represents a further exploration into mellower sonic territory than previously witnessed on their debut release and 1998s "Join Us". That’s not to say that this doesn’t Rock, but now focus is turned towards exploring dynamic subtlety and diverse tempos with which to accompany Jason Farrels wonderfully bruised and disillusioned lyrical intensity. ‘Polymer’ starts off proceedings in darn fine style with Farrell plucking a familiar straining dissonant melody soon to be joined by Dave Bryson’s tumultuous drumming and new member Brian Clancy’s striking power chords. Song no.2 ‘New Young Residents’ further demonstrate Bluetips’ penchant for Fugazi-esque acerbic riffs and hernia inducing vocals, Farrel sings "Woke up afraid I may not be living up to my potential/ I go to bed more afraid that maybe I am" and it’s nice to have them back! The opening laid back bars of discordant funk on ‘Stereo Tinnitus’ offer us the first glimpse of a new musical direction for the band. The heavy drumming and rock-steady riffology are pure Led Zeppelin, you almost expect to hear the ghost of Robert plant screeching "It’s been a long time, been a long time been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time!" Farrels lyrics thankfully stay clear from any quasi-pagan interest in ‘Valhalla’ or ‘the angels of Babylon’, choosing instead to focus on the personal as political, where emotions of jealousy, cruelty, frustration and ultimately anger are conveyed with fiery passion and fierce intent. However, whereas on earlier albums Farrel lyrically wallowed in a fortified cesspit of self-hatred and celebrated his role as dysfunctional outsider, he now takes a more compromising, almost sociable outlook to life asserting that "if you got no friends then maybe you’re not friendly" on the glorious ‘Don’t Punch your friend.’ So overall then, Polymer represents a bold(ish) attempt to expand beyond the boundaries of a restrictive Hardcore/post- punk genre without discarding the sound that made us love them so much in the first place. Encouraged by the Laissez Faire approach of J.Robbins production, they succeed in producing their most complete and musically diverse record yet and one that further maintains their status as the darling young bloods of Dischord at the dawn of the 21st Century. Oh and by the way to save you a trip to the dictionary, Polymer: a naturally occurring or synthetic compound, such as starch or perspex, that has large molecules made up of many relatively simple repeated units.

    BlueTip Cover

    Written By: Steven H.