TITLE: ERASE THE PAIN
LABEL: RISE RECORDS
WORDS: CHRIS PRENATT
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of bands in the metalcore and post-hardcore genres are making the switch to rock. Bands like Memphis May Fire, Underoath, and Asking Alexandria are trying to get their songs on the radio next to big names like Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, and Shinedown. And since it seems to be working for guys like MMF and Of Mice & Men, then maybe Palisades, a electronicore turned post-hardcore band could try and make it in the big leagues with their latest release ‘Erase The Pain’, their fourth studio album, where the New Jerseyites blend in elements of rock into their post-hardcore sound.
They’re clearly going for a rock radio friendly kind of vibe, even recruiting well-known rock producer Howard Benson (Escape The Fate, Flyleaf, Three Days Grace) to make them sound appealing to their targeted demographic. Benson certainly helps to make the album shine, his production making the group sound like they’re already rock radio superstars.
“The band clearly put their hearts and souls into each of the ten songs on this album. “
Throughout the ten tracks on ‘Erase The Pain’, the band try new techniques, adding in elements found in groups like Linkin Park and Dangerkids, but while it might’ve worked for those bands, it just makes Palisades feel kinda out of place both in rock and in post-hardcore.
The band clearly put their hearts and souls into each of the ten songs on this album. Drummer Aaron Rosa wrote on Twitter, “There is real pain, sadness, anger, regret, and self discovery in each song. [Erase The Pain] was extremely hard to write. There were fights. There were mental breakdowns.” And you can clearly hear every emotion put into the album’s incredible opener ‘Vendetta’, featuring a chorus that really packs a punch. “You break me down/ You hold me under ’til I drown myself/ I’m not your prisoner/ I’m breaking out/ I know you’re coming for me/ I know you’re coming for me/ But you won’t make me bleed,” vocalist Louis “Lou” Miceli Jr. croons. But overall, that pain, sadness, and anger might not fit with their current style.
The album does have some pretty strong tracks such as title track ‘Erase The Pain’, which sounds like a long lost Bring Me The Horizon song from their Sempiternal era, and ‘War’, the first single, successfully blends in Palisades’ new elements with their old style, colliding catchy pop hooks with raw, heavy energy. The album’s closer ‘Shed My Skin’ has arguably the most boring lyrics on the whole record, but they make up for this weak songwriting with a heavy mixture of rock and nü-metal, ending the album on a strong note minus the brutal interruption of the end.
“‘Erase The Pain’ shows the band pushing themselves lyrically and mentally to their limits”
The album’s aforementioned weaker moments can be found on numerous songs. Tracks such as ‘Ways To Disappear’, ‘Ghost’, and ‘Fragile Bones’ feel like filler and too generic for the rock genre. ‘Fade’, while sounding lackluster to the ears, is amongst one of the best of these weaker tracks, with deep lyrics can anyone can relate to: “How do I make myself heal/ If I can’t let myself in/ How do I make myself real/ When I feel like fading/ Cause no matter how I try/ Deep down I’m paralyzed/ How do I make myself heal/ If I can’t let myself in,” Miceli Jr. sings on the track.
Overall, ‘Erase The Pain’ shows the band pushing themselves lyrically and mentally to their limits, but it only gives us a bunch of hits and misses. There’s only a few good songs on the ten tracks we’re given, but it’s not too disappointing. What Palisades need to do is see how they can stand out in the rock scene and add that to their post-hardcore roots. They’re so close, yet so far from making a fine rock album.