Album Review
Palisades - Outcasts Album Cover

Palisades - Outcasts

Reviewed by
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: May 21 2013
In the spring of 2012, NJ post-hardcore outfit Palisades released their debut EP I’m 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 cliché 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 hadn’t heard prior to listening to that. That’s 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. It’s a sad truth, but that’s 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, it’s rather lackluster. It’s 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. I’ve listened to the last three releases from all of these bands, and it’s safe to say that if you like those bands, you’ll enjoy Palisades. They’re 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, it’s rather lackluster. With that being said, however, let’s be some outcasts, and dive into this record, shall we?

The record begins with a short two-minute intro entitled “We Are All;” it’s a standard intro for a post-hardcore record. It doesn’t do anything differently, but it does have an intro vibe. It’s rather generic, but it sets the record up nicely, too. The lyrics seem to paint a picture of “We’re here for you if you need us,” and what’s nice is that they don’t come off gimmicky and cheesy, either. There is a breakdown towards the end, which is the first of many, but that’s alright, because it’s still pretty cool. This track leads right into second track, “Your Disease,” 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, that’s 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 “High and Low,” which features guest vocals from Issues’ Tyler Carter. This song is rather hip-hop/dance influenced track, and it’s got a cool beat in the song that keeps it afloat, and it’s also one of the few songs that doesn’t have a breakdown in it, surprisingly. It’s a bit different, and at first listen, it sounds rather odd, but compared with the rest of the record, it’s one of the more unique songs. The second highlight appears a few songs later as eighth track “A.I.” This is the longest track, at about four and a half minutes, but it’s also one of the more enjoyable songs. This song works because it doesn’t 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 “A.I,” they’d be a lot more unique, to say the least. It also ends with a really awesome guitar riff, too, and it’s almost like an experimental song, or something. Last but not least, however, tenth track “Sidney” is only other unique song on here. It’s an acoustic ballad of all things; it’s about a girl, obviously, but it’s unique because it’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the record. It’s cute, sweet, and to the point. Aside from those songs, every other track suffers from “scenecoreitis,” meaning there are pointless breakdowns and “brutal” parts galore. It’s not bad for someone who’s into the genre, but it’s still rather generic. That’s how I’d ultimately describe it, really; it’s a good record if you’re into post-hardcore, but if you’re picky about what bands in the genre you enjoy, you may want to stay away from this one.

Recommended If You LikeSleeping With Sirens, Memphis May Fire, Chiodos, Hands Like Houses, Crown the Empire, etc, etc.

Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. We Are All
2. Your Disease
3. Outcasts
4. A Disasterpiece
5. The Reckoning
6. High and Low
7. The Arctic
8. A.I.
9. Betrayal
10. Sidney
11. Scarred

Palisades is:
Louis Miceli - Vocals
Matt Marshall - Guitar
Xavier Adames - Guitar/Vocals
Earl Halasan - Guitar/Programming
Brandon Reese - Bass
Aaron Rosa - Drums

This review is a user submitted review from justbradley. You can see all of justbradley's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 2 of 2
07:44 AM on 10/25/13
User Info.
iamalexenglish's Avatar
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.

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