In a little under two years since the release of their self-titled album, New Jersey’s Palisades have returned with ‘Erase The Pain’. The group’s fourth record sees a prominent emphasis on Louis Miceli‘s soft croon whilst straddling the post-hardcore sound of the group’s infancy, and the electronic ventures of their more recent work.
Opening with a churning riff, ‘Vendetta’ sees guitarists Xavier Adames and Matthew Marshall add a bouncing groove before allowing a sporadic and intimate verse to take control. Playing with creeping dynamics and Miceli‘s layered vocal hooks, the group build on reoccurring motifs and restraint to push the weaving melodies to a stomping crescendo.
With the record being economic in length, it doesn’t take long for the group to deviate, with ‘Fade’ jumping across genres with ease. Furious octaves and ringing distortion seamlessly drive headfirst into a piano driven verse. Drummer Aaron Rosa dictates these sections, alternating from syncopated percussion and pounding straight beats to drive the chorus home.
Percussive guitars stab through the soaring melody of the chorus, creating a second half that relies on thick guitars as much as the layered backing vocals that carry it. Playing with the motifs laid out previously, as the group reaches the track’s bridge, Miceli jumps through aggressive screams and clean vocals amongst riffs and spinning melodies to create a memorable hook.
‘War’ sees the group hark back to earlier releases, playing with crunching riffs and screams alongside pumping drums and rhythmic chord patterns. Fighting against rolling tom patterns and ambient keys, Adames and Marshall fly through multiple techniques to dominate the track. Retaining their ear for melody, the breakdown sees lush pads hold their own against heavy grooves and overlapping vocal hooks, making the final chorus morph into a heavy coda.
The most striking element of the record is the strong melodies that permeate each track. Setting themselves apart from what’s expected of the genre by leaning on Miceli‘s range and versatility, tracks such as ‘Push’ drive momentum through the second half of the record.
In a subgenre that is heavily saturated, Palisades manage to craft catchy songs with a bite. By not relying on a singular influence and having years of song writing ability behind them, ‘Erase The Pain’ plays multiple elements with ease and cohesion, pushing their new direction further.