palisades-erase-the-pain-music-review-punk-rock-theory

Release Date: 28th December 2018

Label: Rise Records

Genre: Post- Hardcore

Palisades has never been a band that you could box up with a nice little bow. Though generally regarded as a post-hardcore band, there is much more at play. They have a diverse range of influences from hard rock to electronic and hardcore punk to pop music. Their latest effort ‘Erase the Pain’ preliminarily holds their earlier post-hardcore sound in tension with their more electronic sound of recent times.

‘Vendetta’ is a hard-hitting opener with big riffs and a roaring chorus. Only lead single ‘War’ is heavier and is arguably their heaviest track for some time. It has a nu-metal edge with crunching riffs and a return of Lou Miceli Jr’s screamed vocals. This is in stark contrast with title track ‘Erase the Pain” which combines a modern rock sound with a poppier R&B Style. A style they implement throughout the album with songs such as ‘Run Away’ and ‘Push’.

We see a more mature level of lyric writing throughout ‘Erase the Pain’. ‘War’ deals with the notion that people can be completely consumed by the habits that they form. As Miceli says ‘Most of us seem to find ways to cope in our lives by forming temporary fixes to numb the pain”.

‘Patient’ may be a much more melodic track but has equally emotionally rich and relatable lyrics such as ‘You’re getting high off playing God // either stop my heart or replace it’.

’Fragile Bones’ starts slowly before building to a heavier chorus with grittier vocals from Miceli Jr. Lyrically, it discusses the pressure people feel to be a different version of themselves.  You take my fragile bones and you make them your own // You wanted everything til nothing’s left of me.                    Miceli Jr explains these lyrics in more depth ‘The external pressures to live to a different standard than who we want to be can be suffocating … And, while that is not really ok, it is something we’ve all experienced whilst being on this journey together, so we addressed it head-on.’

‘Shed My Skin’ brings the album to a close, starting with some ambient electronica before Adames and Marshall’s guitars kick in. Michel’s vocals follow the same pattern as much of the album with clean vocals in the verses and a grittier/screamed chorus. His vocals are less melodic than the rest of the album and the verses have a darker tone to them, reminding me of Chris Cerulli from Motionless in White.

Erase the Pain’ is like driving a Skoda; it’s solid and reliable but it doesn’t provide the thrills that a Lamborghini does. ‘Fade’ is the epitome of that; both lyrically and musically. It’s a formulaic, paint by numbers modern rock at it’s finest. It’s like a seatbelt, after a while you forget it’s on.

It does mix a wide range of elements and shows increasingly mature lyrics but its overproduction is like a Lamborghini whose horsepower has escaped. It has fallen into the metalcore endemic of ramping up the production and making a standard, safe, radio-friendly Skoda rather than creating the adrenaline-fuelled supercar that makes you really sit up and take notice.

Rating: 6.5/10

Recommended Track: War

You can order the album here: www.wearepalisades.com

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