Radical changes in a band's sound can cause either utter revulsion or an even more devoted following from fans. It's happened with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Bring Me The Horizon and Yellowcard, and now, New Jersey rock band Palisades. Yet, for every 'I liked you better when [fill in the blank]', there's always a core minority who fall in love with the change in sound. These are the people who go to concerts and buy t-shirts and CDs anyway, so it’s arguable that their opinion is more important.
Palisades released their third studio album, “Palisades”, on Jan. 20 through Rise Records. "Palisades" has spawned two singles and a lyric video in "Through Hell", "Fall" and "Aggression", respectively. Fans were shocked to find that the band all but dropped the electronic based sound they'd become known for. This newest release, though, shows a band who's finally found their sound as well as more lyrical maturity.
As the band states on their Facebook page, "this is a collection of our heart and souls in an album". This is evident in songs like "Cold Heart (Warm Blood)", which features lyrics like: I wanna hate you/tear you apart/stitch you together/but I know it's too hard/And I'm afraid to, so I just let it lie...". This song speaks of desperately wanting to help someone but realizing that they don't want help and it would hurt you to keep helping them.
Songs "Dark" and "Better Chemicals" hint at struggling with mental illness with lyrics like (from "Dark"): "I'm spending too much time/lost and I can't find my way
Can you?/Is it dark in your room?/Are you afraid of it, too?/It's haunting us just/Living for tomorrow when it never comes/Being caught up in a permanent insomnia/Screaming in silence to anyone/Is it dark in your room?"
and (from "Better Chemicals"): "Another night/leaves up in my head/leaves me in my dread/recycling the bad dreams/so can you tell me how/to make it stop short of being dead? ... I need better chemicals, I know/'cause nothing helps anymore, oh no/need better chemicals to show/you that I can be more, oh oh..."
This heart and soul is reflected in their live show as well. I was one of those surprised, but in a good way, when I caught their set opening for Lacey Sturm on Jan. 21. I was only familiar with their 2015 release "Mind Games", which was heavy on the electronics and party/good time lyrics, and that was not the same band I saw on stage. This was great for two reasons: party bands have a short shelf life and I love seeing bands mature and find a sound that really works for them. The band I saw showed passion for their work and stage show and sometimes that can be hard to find.
“Palisades” is available through iTunes/Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, MerchNow and Spotify. The band is on tour with Lacey Sturm through Valentine’s Day. For more information on the band, visit their website or Facebook page.