Review by Shannon Shumaker
To say that I was blown away by Mind Games would be an understatement. The effort that Palisades have put forth with this release is astonishing, from the production to the vocals to the catchy choruses and melodies. Everything about Mind Games is on point, full of incredible energy, and balanced perfectly. The bass work, the electronic parts and the drums all mesh amazingly on top of the great guitar work and stellar vocals.
The “Electronic Hardcore” genre has been on an up-rise lately, with bands such as I See Stars and Issues in the forefront of the music scene, and without a doubt, Palisades deserve to be right up there with them, if not paving the way for this genre. Within the first few seconds of the first track on Mind Games, “Player Haters’ Ball,” it’s apparent that this group of musicians know exactly what they’re doing. While some bands may strive for excellence in this genre, Metal and Electronic are definitely not easy to mesh together if you don’t do it right. That being said, Palisades are absolutely doing it right. “Player Haters’ Ball,” has some incredible energy (which is a staple in Metalcore) as well as an explosive, melodic chorus. The electronic parts in this track only serve to accent the already incredible songwriting and lift it up even higher, rather than bringing it down or making it muddy or “too much.” Palisades find a perfect balance between the Hardcore sound and Electronic beats, and the result is phenomenal.
And that’s just the first track.
Following “Player Haters’ Ball” is “No Chaser” which a slightly more mellow track, but it definitely isn’t lacking in the songwriting department. The vocals are a high point on this track, especially in the catchy chorus, and the electronic parts only serve to accent it. The into of the following track, “Bad Girls” is absolutely killer. “Bad Girls” has a definite Hip-Hop influence, and it’s a nice change to really shake things up from the first two songs. In fact, no two songs sound the same on this album, which is an incredible feat considering how easy it would be to fall into comfortable songwriting patterns with this genre.
“Mind Games” is a total electronic dance track, while “Whatever You Want It To Be” is a more raw, guitar driven song. “Afraid” is a slower and more melodic song and “People Like Us,” featuring Garret Rapp of The Color Morale is a dancy, catchy anthem. “True Blood,” is one of the hardest hitting songs on Mind Games with very strong unclean vocals, contrasting incredibly with the final track, “Come Over And Watch Netflix,” which is a total dance song with virtually no guitar work.
Mind Games is just the perfect mix of Hip-Hop, Electronic and Metalcore. The thing is, with bands of this genre, there’s a lot of potential with the meshing of Electronic and Metalcore, but many artists seem to drop the ball in the execution. That doesn’t happen with Mind Games, though. Palisades have absolutely mastered the sound in this album, creating ten tracks that are loud, aggressive and in your face while still remaining catchy and danceable.
To be honest, I really don’t have one bad thing to say about Mind Games. Every move that Palisades makes musically on this album is absolutely mind blowing. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face while listening to it the first time though, simply because Mind Games is everything I’ve ever wanted from a band like Palisades. Every musical choice is well thought out and flawlessly executed. Mind Games keeps the anger and energy of Metalcore music but also the catchy beats and danceable aspects of Hip-Hop and Electronic music, and I think it’s safe to say that this is just the album that this music scene needed. Without a doubt, I can say that Palisades’ Mind Games is a game-changer.
Listen to "Player Haters' Ball" or "People Like Us"