As a hardcore kid, turning up with friends who aren’t into heavy music can ignite a bit of an identity crisis. Parties can be hard to navigate if you aren’t the biggest fan of Top 40, and some people won’t be enthused when you try to blast Bring Me The Horizon instead. The answer to the riddle of how to get by as a hardcore kid who also likes to go hard is Palisades’ new album, Mind Games.
The New Jersey band’s sophomore record is more electro-centric than their 2013 debut Outcasts, so be prepared: it might cater more to your Top 40 friends than you at first. Whereas Outcasts was a record that mostly used electronic and dance elements to accent its hardcore nature, Mind Games does the reverse. However, this is not a bad thing. Tracks like “Mind Games,” “Whatever You Want It To Be,” and “People Like Us feat. Garret Rapp” (The Color Morale) are all pump up songs that have immediately been added to my personal hardcore party jams playlist. Other tracks like “No Chaser” and “Bad Girls” are more forgettable, and don’t add much to the record that isn’t already there. A song that I like in spite of myself is “Like A Drug,” which has a catchy chorus, but if I can go the rest of my life without hearing another musician describe love as a “battlefield” or a “drug” I think I’d be okay. “True Blood” shines as the album’s premiere punk-inspired track, echoing the isolated vocal intro on Outcasts’ “Your Disease.”
Mostly, this album makes sense to me because I myself am from New Jersey. I like to mosh and I like to fist pump, and Palisades understands that. So next time you’re readying yourself for a night on the town, get amped with some Mind Games.