It's a disservice to Snow Patrol to compare them to their more successful labelmates, but to say that Songs For Polar Bears
sounds like Belle and Sebastian
gone grunge should go some way to defining the skewed brilliance of this Northern Irish trio. Snow Patrol do some wonderful things to the conventions of fuzzy new-wave guitar-pop; pare it down into a melancholic hymn on "The Last Shot Ringing In My Ears", hyper-tense it into the caffeine buzz of "Starfighter Pilot", or let it dissipate altogether on the ethereal "Velocity Girl2. Songs For Polar Bears
works because it's the polar opposite to club-footed cock rock; an album that sounds warmly empathetic, while others are all too eager to shoot their dull load of guitar machismo. That it's a little overlong is a shame--an earlier EP, "One Hundred Things You Should Have Done In Bed" was concise perfection--but Songs For Polar Bears
feels like a tender bandage, while the rest of the world's rockers dully figure that if it hurts, it works. --Louis Pattison
Debut Release from this Brit-Pop Band.