“Those” labels are few and far between; the ones where – even if you don’t vibe completely with everything about a band or album – you can, at the very least, respect the artistic endeavor, the honesty of the work itself. Germany’s Exile On Mainstream has long been one of those, which makes me even more reluctant to admit that L’nertie Polaire will be my introduction into THE ANTIKAROSHI, six albums into its discography. Truth, though. That’s what ya get here.

Inspired by/interlaced with concepts described in the Paul Virilio tome sharing this title, L’inertie Polaire opens, moving forward with a catchiness that belies its insistence, already somehow catapulting me back into the days of QUICKSAND’s Slip, the EMBRACE discography and the rock intelligentsia that moved around labels such as SST, Dischord and Merge Records in the early ‘90s. “The truth of today is just a lie from the past.”, we’re told in ‘Gravity’, and given no reason to doubt the conviction. ‘Doxa’ flirts with PIXIES, while ‘Lost In Compassion’ is all shards and slashes, yet still interweaving a sense of the harmonious one wouldn’t “expect” from this timely tale of the wealthy departing via spacecraft for a newer, less used-up world.

‘Thousand Lakes’ offers us our very own body of water amid minimalist pop-punk, and ‘Authority’ brushes up against SUN KIL MOON slowcore despite its bristling undercurrent. Of note, as with most of the bands mentioned before, is the sheer and near-instant memorability one of a certain age feels when presented with a new band that ticks the sort of boxes ticked by THE ANTIKAROSHI. It’s nostalgic without wallowing in the past, and simultaneously encouraging when one realizes that there are bands still mining these particular sonic lands.

Coming to a close with the mostly-instrumental ‘Tang Ping’, L’inertie Polaire has done on first listen what it’s becoming harder and harder to do in these high-velocity days; created an album in which to immerse yourself. And, maybe even more impressively, created a fan.
Review By: Lord Randall

L’inertie Polaire
Exile On Mainstream