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The Palisades - Mr. S.'s Memory EP (self-released)

The Palisades — Mr. S.'s Memory EP
1 July 2013

Apropos of its motto — “The City of Subdued Excitement” — Bellingham, Washington has, over the past two decades, quietly carved out a unique sonic niche independent of its grunge and indie-pop-oriented neighbors to the south in Seattle and Olympia.

From large-scale success story Death Cab for Cutie to lesser-known acts like noodly instrumentalists Rooftops, this most earnest of mid-sized Northwest music towns has long punched above its weight, and upstart Bellinghamsters The Palisades certainly uphold that tradition.

Listeners nostalgic for the measured catharses of late-1990s Midwesterners Braid, Cursive and others synonymous with the Polyvinyl and Saddle Creek labels will find lots to like about the jagged twin guitars, gravelly vocals and tour diary-style lyrics on the group’s third EP, Mr. S.‘s Memory.

Yet where those bands wallowed in their early-20s frustrations, The Palisades inject tension-and-release workouts like the hard-charging “It’s Symbiotic” and galloping “Rapture” with major-chord choruses and spirited “whoa-oh”s akin to popular present-day emo-punks like Vancouver’s Japandroids and Olympia’s RVIVR.

While Memory‘s trebly production and between-song conversational fodder makes it feel more like a demo than a proper release, it’s clear The Palisades say what they mean and mean what they say, and these five focused, fun tracks strongly imply they’re just getting started.

The Palisades on Bandcamp