Palisades Ė Outcasts
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: May 21 2013
In the spring of 2012, NJ post-hardcore outfit Palisades released their debut EP Iím Not Dying Today through Rise Records, and I was curious about it, because I enjoyed the bands that the members were apart of before forming Palisades (a bunch of local bands from around the area). Needless to say, I was curious about their debut EP, but was rather disappointed with what I found. It was textbook Risecore, meaning clichť breakdowns, and a predictable dynamic of clean and harsh vocals. While the EP was not truly awful, it left a lot to be desired, because it was rather boring and generic. It was run of the mill post-hardcore, and nothing I hadnít heard prior to listening to that. Thatís one of my main problems with this genre, the fact that most of it sounds exactly the same. Most of it also comes across insanely uninspired, with fashion trends and haircuts being more important than the quality of the music itself. Itís a sad truth, but thatís how it is. A few bands break that mold, and Palisades seem to be right in the middle; debut album Outcasts has a few really interesting moments, but for the most part, itís rather lackluster. Itís pretty much the same as their EP, aside from a couple tracks that do stand out. As always, a few fellow Rise Records frontmen make appearances on the record as well, most likely to gather new fans, and therefore, sell more copies. Those frontmen are Tyler Carter from Issues, Andy Leo from Crown the Empire, and Chris Roetter of Like Moths to Flames. Iíve listened to the last three releases from all of these bands, and itís safe to say that if you like those bands, youíll enjoy Palisades. Theyíre not as heavy, but they still do have breakdowns here and there. I do want to stress that there are some good moments in this record, but as a whole, itís rather lackluster. With that being said, however, letís be some outcasts, and dive into this record, shall we?
The record begins with a short two-minute intro entitled ďWe Are All;Ē itís a standard intro for a post-hardcore record. It doesnít do anything differently, but it does have an intro vibe. Itís rather generic, but it sets the record up nicely, too. The lyrics seem to paint a picture of ďWeíre here for you if you need us,Ē and whatís nice is that they donít come off gimmicky and cheesy, either. There is a breakdown towards the end, which is the first of many, but thatís alright, because itís still pretty cool. This track leads right into second track, ďYour Disease,Ē which is a rather run of the mill Risecore track; a rather straightforward pop-rock track with a few breakdowns thrown in for good measure. In fact, thatís how most of the record goes. There are only a few tracks that really deviate from this formula, and it makes sense those are the most interesting tracks. The first is sixth track ďHigh and Low,Ē which features guest vocals from Issuesí Tyler Carter. This song is rather hip-hop/dance influenced track, and itís got a cool beat in the song that keeps it afloat, and itís also one of the few songs that doesnít have a breakdown in it, surprisingly. Itís a bit different, and at first listen, it sounds rather odd, but compared with the rest of the record, itís one of the more unique songs. The second highlight appears a few songs later as eighth track ďA.I.Ē This is the longest track, at about four and a half minutes, but itís also one of the more enjoyable songs. This song works because it doesnít have any annoying or pointless breakdowns, and it even reminds me a bit of fellow Rise band Hands Like Houses, who essentially are a post-hardcore band without screams and breakdowns. If Palisades wrote more songs like ďA.I,Ē theyíd be a lot more unique, to say the least. It also ends with a really awesome guitar riff, too, and itís almost like an experimental song, or something. Last but not least, however, tenth track ďSidneyĒ is only other unique song on here. Itís an acoustic ballad of all things; itís about a girl, obviously, but itís unique because itís a nice change of pace from the rest of the record. Itís cute, sweet, and to the point. Aside from those songs, every other track suffers from ďscenecoreitis,Ē meaning there are pointless breakdowns and ďbrutalĒ parts galore. Itís not bad for someone whoís into the genre, but itís still rather generic. Thatís how Iíd ultimately describe it, really; itís a good record if youíre into post-hardcore, but if youíre picky about what bands in the genre you enjoy, you may want to stay away from this one.
Can't get enough of this album so I looked up a review and was surprised to see in the Recommend if you Like section was...Sleeping With Sirens. Smh. Otherwise I'd say good review though. I enjoy it, but it's not a fantastic album.