There is Something Wrong With You
I just figured I’d missed something along the way. When I heard Polonsky had a new record out, I thought to myself, “oh yeah, that guy.” I remember buying and liking Polonsky’s heralded debut in 1996, Hi My Name is Johnny. Perhaps a couple of other Polonsky releases had flown under my radar in the time in between. But no, I was surprised to learn, Polonsky’s latest is in fact his second release. Seems after receiving favorable notices for that first record, touring with Frank Black, and doing a few dates on the second stage at Lollapalooza, Polonsky’s old label, American Recordings, lost its distribution deal with WEA, leaving him out in the cold. He took some time off and then began the search for a new label. Now he finally returns with a six-song 16-minute EP that comes roaring out of the gate.
The opening “Freezed” comes off something like The Replacements crossed with Aerosmith. Polonsky even sounds a bit like Steven Tyler as he sings, let me get these lyrics exactly right… “Baby, Baby, I-I-I-I-I-I.” Yes, it’s all deceptively simple, but undeniably infectious. “Long Gone” is a boppy pop-punk number that sounds The Go-Go•s on speed or perhaps like what The Goo Goo Dolls used to do before they started churning out the radio-ready crap.
Elsewhere, “Gone Too Far” shows Polonsky has studied both his Nirvana and Foo Fighters CDs well. And Polonsky shows solid guitar chops on “Roll On.” But the most impressive track here may be the closing “You Are My Star.” It’s a terrific Beatle-esque ballad that displays Polonsky’s quieter side to good effect.
I’m certainly glad I didn’t miss anything from this guy, as it turns out, but it’s a damn shame we couldn’t have heard more from him in the last five years. Hopefully, now that he’s back, Polonsky will quickly follow up this too short EP with a full-length record.