Polis - Weltklang

Kev Rowland

This is the third album from East German band Polis. Here is a group who sound very much as if this is an album from the Seventies from behind the Iron Curtain, down to the use of a real Hammond B3, vintage keyboards and amplifiers, and all lyrics in German. Apparently, they even used as much recording equipment from old GDR studios as possible to really give it the sound of something lost in time. The album itself is named after the studio where it was recorded, although it was mixed in Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios. The vocals are very important to the overall sound, yet I found myself somewhat pleased they were in German and not English as it perfectly fits with the music.

Imagine Krautrock mixed with Canterbury and Uriah Heep, recorded more than 40 years ago, then one may just, just, get an idea of what this album is actually like. There are some wonderful choral passages, others where the music is more in your face, with strong bass and drums driving everything on. When German bands attempt to sound German they often come across as Teutonic Wagnerian with huge elements of Rammstein, but these guys are taking influences from bands such as Jane and possibly Birth Control. There is a great deal of space in the music, a relaxed style which is quite at odds with the hard sounds being produced. This is classic 70’s progressive hard rock with plenty of other elements, and the result is something which is polished and full of class. This is my introduction to the band, but I am sure we are all going to hear quite a but more as this is an album which definitely needs to break out not only from their native Saxonia but far beyond the borders of Germany.

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