Just another generic album from another generic band


Palisades are an interesting newer band that started off as a Motionless in White clone, transitioning into electronicore/EDM rock and then finally settling into post-hardcore/metalcore. While Erase the Pain is a much higher step in quality than their previous output, that isn’t really saying much.

To put things in perspective, their debut record Outcasts sounded like the B-side of Creatures-era Motionless in White.

Their sophomore release Mind Games was an abomination of teenage lyricism and electronic pseudo-rock. Next up was their self-titled, which was a mature step in the right direction but was overall a safe pop rock record.

Which brings us to album number four. Erase the Pain, dropped at the tail end of 2018,  is a competent album and is much more mature than their previous releases. It has strong vocals, solid instrumentation and very polished production. Some of the riffs hit hard. The music makes excellent background noise if you’re at the gym and need a dose of adrenaline.

Now that seems like a harsh criticism. But this album doesn’t do anything to stand out from its contemporaries. The songs all seem to blur into one, as they’re all very formulaic and have the same theme when it comes to lyrics. It’s like listening to the same song on repeat ten times. It’s aimless, although the band clearly didn’t intend it to be.

The artwork for the album is an image of the ouroboros: a universally recognized symbol of a serpent eternally swallowing its tail in a cycle of destruction and rebirth.

“The idea behind this whole album is that we all experience so much pain in life, but it’s always possible come out the other side and find happiness,” said frontman Lou Miceli in a statement on Spotify. “You don’t have to be a prisoner to whatever’s happened in your past—you can choose to start over again, and become something new.”

The lyrics revolve around a protagonist who seeks to be saved. While such a stereotypical trope would make an interesting concept album if done correctly, here it is retold in almost every song. It gets stale very quickly and loses the impact it could have had.

Influences here can be heard ranging from Of Mice & Men, Linkin Park and even hints of Periphery. The riffs are repetitive and bland. It just feels uninventive.

There is nothing here pushing the envelope and it sounds like just another modern rock record. Keep in mind their self-titled came out just in 2017. It’s possible the short gap between albums could have had an effect here.

Palisades, alongside Ded, Ice Nine Kills, Like a Storm, Red Sun Rising and Starset are one of several new bands being heavily pushed and promoted by the SiriusXM Octane radio station. Like everything that gets promoted, there are hits and there are misses.

Unfortunately, Palisades fall into the category of catchy but forgettable. It’s a shame, because there is a lot of energy on this record and it’s clear the band is evolving.

The album itself doesn’t do anything particularly wrong. On the flip side, it doesn’t really do anything particularly well either. The take away from this album is the fact that it presents one with a generalized, not tedious but not necessarily interesting sound. It is an album that embraces mediocrity.

It is as if the album is intentionally  stuck in neutral, unsure of what direction it wants to take. That makes this album what it is: mediocre.

Parker’s Picks: “Fragile Bones,” “War”