Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of. This week we look at Palisades' new album 'Mind Games' and its aim to combine hardcore with just about every mainstream genre: pop punk, EDM and hip-hop.
Week of 01/23/2015
WHAT: Mind Games
Entering the "electronicore" scene is a bold move for any band...while other intense genres such as basic hardcore and aggrotech (the more violent wing of the electronic music world) get at least face-value respect from the average listener, combining the elements of hardcore with elements of hip-hop and EDM can come across as farcical, something to be considered in the same breath as Limp Bizkit and other nu-metal cliches. Some acts, such as England's Enter Shikari, have managed to maintain a level of respectability however.
Palisades isn't one of those bands.
You can't fault a band in this arena for trying to jam as much hip-hop as possible into its sound, but at least Bizkit had the sensibility to grab members of the Wu-Tang Clan—a universally appreciated member of the genre—for collaboration to demonstrate that it respected the same acts hip-hop-heads respected. Palisades has less of a budget of course but it resides to stereotypical samples citing diamond teeth and getting girls wet rather than trying to challenge us (or themselves). Even the first song on Mind Games, the truest hardcore song on the record, is named "Player Haters' Ball."
At least the aforementioned tracks are bangers, something that can be turned up and lyrics tuned out. By the end of the album, the sappier "Come Over and Watch Netflix," is full-on house music. We wouldn't draw issue with the sudden pop-punk attitude if the first nine tracks on the album weren't a smorgasbord of anger and appropriation.