For Fans Of
Palisades are difficult to classify. At a stretch, you could say that their latest effort ‘Mind Games’ blends post-hardcore, party-core and pop, but no particular genre has an umbrella quite big enough to fit them under (bar the ever ambiguous ‘alternative’). The ambivalent sound of ‘Mind Games’ is both an asset and a liability.
On the one hand, the pervasion of pop-rock in tracks like ‘No Chaser’ sliced and diced with screams makes the hardcore touch almost sound like a novelty. Simultaneously, fans of breakdowns and screams aren’t likely to appreciate the shallow clubcore song ‘Bad Girls’ and its ‘pick-up’ (turn off) lyrics. ‘Like A Drug’ is slightly unoriginal (its opening lines includes the innovative lyric ‘love is a battlefield’) and is torn between breakdowns, rap undertones and pop. On ‘True Blood’, Palisades prove that they have potential. When they don’t cluster their songs experimentally, they definitely overcome the lack of cohesion that hinders this listening experience.
On the other hand, most of the (many) sounds that Palisades dalliance into are, to their credit, done well. ‘Player Haters’ Ball’ features a demonic ‘whoa’ ahead of radio cleans, and the party-core is what it’s supposed to be: cocky and catchy. This song is I See Stars with less screams, which does make it more accessible and could possibly enable Palisades to become a gateway band into metalcore. ‘Whatever You Want It To Be’ is equally as successful in putting a Palisades spin on cutting breakdowns with EDM/night club tunes (‘Come Over and Watch Netflix’ also delves into pop/dance, if that’s your jam.)
‘Afraid’ starts out dark and theatrical, with silky vocals and an organic, not constructed, shift into a different tone. Logical transitioning into screams is a problem in earlier songs, but ‘People Like Us’ additionally manages to pull it off.
At the very least, these tracks will get stuck in your head. Palisades’ use of electronics may not be as effective as Enter Shikari’s, but at least they don’t do party as crudely as Attila.
Holistically, the second half of ‘Mind Games’ is more enjoyable. But who knows? Maybe Palisades’ best album will be their next? Perhaps they have to experiment with different genres to get to where they truly thrive. In the meantime, don’t be reticent to shaking it to these electro-screamo-pop-rock-EDM jams.
1. Player Haters’ Ball (feat. Blackbear)
2. No Chaser
3. Bad Girls
4. Mind Games (feat. Champs)
5. Whatever You Want It To Be
7. People Like Us (feat. Garret Rapp)
8. Like A Drug
9. True Blood
10. Come Over And Watch Netflix