SINGLE REVIEW: 'RA' BY POLEVAULTER
As abrasive as the scorching sun, Polevaulter’s tribute to the sun god, “Ra,” is a continued demonstration of their increasingly minimalist noise punk aesthetic.
As one of the central figures in the Leeds punk scene, many of our readers have probably encountered the name Polevaulter before. But for those of you who haven’t, you’d be hard pressed to find a band in our time who are as adept at pairing barbed noise and impressively entrancing songwriting as Polevaulter. Their newest single is in many ways, another snapshot of the talent that Polevaulter so effortlessly wield.
“Ra”- a spiritual successor to their 2019 single, “International Break,”- starts with a collective hum of what sounds like a Gregorian chorus, and features much of what was found on its predecessor. With the vocals sitting far back in the mix, and the guitar coating the track in jagged roars of noise, the substance of the song comes in the form of the back and forth between the crunchy bass tones and the looping drums. Throughout the song, each instrument feels powerful and purposeful and when they hit together in the chorus praising the titular sun god; it’s a dramatic moment of synchronicity.
Sadly, there weren’t many new ideas presented in the song when compared to Polevaulter’s back catalog and in fact, the biggest surprise was genuinely how quickly the song goes by. Much like “International Break,” there are only two sections that alternate, taking turns in the spotlight. In a way it’s a true testament to minimalist songwriting with the impact the tracks have with such little material actually present. However, as “Ra” finds itself running at over just two and a half minutes long, the song disappears like a flash in the pan. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want more, whether it be in ideas or just simply runtime, but I suppose that’s exactly what a single should do: give you a taste of what the band can do and then leave you wanting more.
Writing by Varun Govil