From the privacy of a dorm room in 2005 to the streets of Brooklyn in 2016, I Am The Polish Army has come a long way since singer-guitarist Emma DeCorsey first considered the strength of her voice and the purpose behind the music floating around in her head. Between those early days trying to understand what I Am The Polish Army could be and the recent months in which the band finished their forthcoming album, DeCorsey had her heart crushed by several fellow musicians, her home studio equipment was stolen, she scraped her original thoughts for her first full-length and subsequently rewrote the bulk of the material. She also befriended two musicians (bassist Turner Stough and drummer Eric Kuby) who would forever alter the trajectory of her life.
Within three months of their first rehearsal, the trio was in the studio with acclaimed engineer Charles Burst (Neko Case, Psychic Ills, Crystal Stilts) and were working through the songs which would eventually form the basis of the band’s debut record, “My Old Man.” Driven by a desire to reinvent the initial musical offerings that DeCorsey had created, they broke down each track to its base elements and reshaped them in the image of bands like DeCorsey's teenage heroes Veruca Salt and The Breeders. Growling with guitar solos that are the work of longtime session musician and friend Dave Van Epp, as well as DeCorsey herself, these tracks developed a colossal emotional presence, resulting in the kind of redemptive catharsis that only occurs after some truly harrowing and life-shaking experiences.
I Am The Polish Army’s debut record, “My Old Man” is, in many ways, the realization of an idea that began over ten years ago, when DeCorsey was first exploring and experiencing the inspirations and traumatic events that would shape her transient perspectives on the how the world saw her as both a musician and a woman. Drawing inspiration from a near-accident and East Village ennui for opening track, “You Don’t Know,” she and the band quickly set out to reveal a withered landscape of burned out automobile husks and forgotten homes that were lost to the march of progress and trust fund money. “David Bowie” offers a glimpse into the voids that develop when musicians are unceremoniously taken from us and how loose-limbed posers often spring up to capitalize on the sound and history those lamented artists presented.
But the threat isn’t just from losing those we care about—it’s often the result of an unexpected physical violation that destroys our sense of security and hastens the speed of our steps. For “Throat,” DeCorsey relives the nightmarish experience of having been strangled by an ex and discovering that there exists an inherent domestic terror that courses through the lives of women every day. This idea of damaged relationships extends to the broken hearts and lessons learned of “Setup” and the devastation of fractured associations within the emotional movements of the album‘s title track. Other songs like “Dead Cat” and “The Woods” approach their material from a skewed rhythmic point of view, turning lyrical asides about the power of feline companionship and the hesitant hope of a bright future into profound realizations on what it means to be in your ‘20s and have no idea what you should be doing.
Alongside DeCorsey’s memorably nimble fretwork, Stough and Kuby provide the necessary and expansive foundation through which the band’s cinematic visions unfurl around your ears. Often dense, but inescapably agile, these arrangements offer a hard rock tint that colors their respective contributions. Stough's basslines slither and thud, giving weight and dexterity to the music, while Kuby’s emphatic percussion delivers a much needed bit of stomping noise and propulsion to DeCorsey’s vocal calisthenics. Lingering only momentarily within each of their influences, the band slowly divulges the depths and details that comprise the complex and labyrinthine motivations behind the rolling mass of “My Old Man.”
With a “comeback” show in March of 2016 acting as a primer to introduce their newfound direction and sound, the band continued to rework their music with various performances in Brooklyn throughout 2016. The band has East Coast and Midwest tours scheduled for Spring and Summer of 2017, where they’ll work to bring their emotional rock cacophony and fervor to stages across the Unites States. I Am The Polish Army’s debut, “My Old Man,” will be released on March 31, 2017 and finds the band digging deeply into their collective musical associations, revealing a common well of shared influence and experiences that they’re anxious to share with anyone within earshot.