ARTIST: Snow Patrol
TITLE: Songs for Polarbears
YEAR RELEASED: 1998
CHART ACTION: #143 UK
SINGLES: Starfighter Pilot, Little Hide, One Hundred Things You Should Have Done in Bed (#157 UK), Velocity Girl / Absolute Gravity (#177 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None
LINEUP: Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland, Richard Colburn
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut album from Northern Irish band is a scramble of this, that, and the other, but it’s all decent enough.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There are bands that absorb all of their influences and make their own sound, and others that in their early stages emulate all of their influences, sometimes all at once.
Snow Patrol’s first recordings are definitely the latter, as from track to track they don’t sound like the same band. That’s not a bad thing, but it does show that they were still trying to find an original and unique voice and not just borrowing the fuzzy guitar from “A” and melody ideas from “B”.
It’d take a while for them to coalesce and become what they would become. Here, though, is the portrait of a band working things out, and writing some decent songs in the process.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The title is a nod to their original band name, Polarbear.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. The original US release has four extra tracks, and later releases have all the B-sides to the singles.
GRADE: B-: A few songs are standouts. It’s OK in general and will surprise those who only know them from their radio hits.