“Viscerally striking” and “clear as glass” are terms that come to mind when thinking of Polarized Eyes’ new single “Real Boys.” The song is a noble assailant, unsubtle in its approach, and concise in its manifesto. Even better, it gets the head nodding while the gears turn.
“Toxic masculinity will be the death of me,” intros the lyrics, delivered with as much disdain and matter-of-factness to drive home the fact that yes, indeed, the subject of Polarized Eyes’ ire is the cause of death for too many of us. What I appreciate about the powerhouse of a song is not only its revival of less-is-more punk approach (something I’ve missed in the stranglehold of pop punk sensibility of recent decades) but that it turns the ethos of the genre on its head- it’s not simply attacking the detritus of toxic masculinity, but calling on its employers and benefactors to do better. Or better as they put it, “show us some fucking love.”
Punk and post-punk has seen a more mindful turn in recent years, with outfits like IDLES, Parquet Courts, and Dry Cleaning pressing onward with the possibilities and sonic adventures inherent in the genre’s beginnings some 40-odd years ago. Polarized Eyes similarly parse through the fine threads of agitation and empathy with a broken-toothed comb to deliver something to go hard getting soft with.
“Real Boys” is out now and streaming everywhere. Be sure to give it a listen!
Review By Bobby Guard