Written by Ken Bowden on September 14, 2016 for Bloodrock Media
I’m just going to start this review by saying, it’s about FUCKING time. Ever since your humble narrator attended a Norma Jean show a few months back in Detroit, I’ve been chomping at the bit to see what the legendary post hardcore warriors were crafting up with their new album. While during their set they did slide in a new song, it was a just a tease. But it is finally here, the release of Polar Similar.
If you have a single solitary doubt in your mind if Norma Jean still has it or not, mozy your ass over to their site http://normajeannoise.com/ and listen to the first 3 singles, “1,000,000 Watts”, “Forever Hurtling Towards Andromeda”, and “Synthetic Sun”, then kick yourself for ever doubting them, and buy Polar Similar. Of the three tracks, I am particularly partial to “Synthetic Sun” but realistically pretty much every track on this album is fuckin money. Picking out my favs is basically like deciding which bite of your fav pizza is the best except the pizza never runs out and you never get too full, it’s amazeballs.
“Reaction” and “A Thousand Years A Minute” show you that while this isn’t the same ole shit being recycled this is definitely the resurgence of the Norma Jean you know and love. I haven’t been this excited about a new Norma Jean album since Redeemer. I give them major props for ending with such a high energy track like “Nexus”. It is just a ridiculously smart way to end an album of this caliber, instead of the typical “cool down track”. “Nexus” hits you like the climatic battle between the hero and the villain in some action flick that’s had you at the edge of your seat the whole time and makes you cheer your ass off once it’s over for more (luckily hitting repeat is an option here because I can pretty much bank on anyone who bumps this album doing so a couple times after that first listen).
I just want to say to Normal Jean, well done boys, very, very, very well done.