Palaris- The Pros and Cons of Redemption
Blue Duck Records (www.blueduckrecords.com)
Catchy, up-tempo pop wrapped in a rock package
This debut from the Connecticut pop-rock band Palaris shows they are quite serious about delivering catchiness. With irresistible hooks and choruses meshing with energetic, forceful guitar riffs, The Pros and Cons of Redemptions is a very promising first release.
The first track, “Long Walk Home,” sets up the feel for the entire album, with an immediate energy, repeating guitar riffs, and a chorus that really packs a punch. It flows well into the lighter, but equally energetic, “Thinking to Listen,” which showcases lead singer and guitarist Dean Purificato’s voice a little more. Purificato proves here that his harsh, and sometimes slightly nasally, voice also has a higher range that can be very melodic.
“Sandboxes and Sailboats” makes a strong statement with a hard-hitting, attention-grabbing chorus. The Pros and Cons of Redemption really picks up with “Iscariot,” however, which forces listeners to nod along with the beat. The pleading lyrics are delivered earnestly, and a breakdown towards the end of the song builds tension and adds excitement. The drumbeat drives “Iscariot” forward and makes it even more assertive and strong. The pop-oriented “Masquerade” which follows is probably the catchiest on the album. The fun chorus is easy to sing along to, and even includes some hand claps, which are always undeniably appealing.
Following “Masquerade” is the hardest rock song on The Pros and Cons of Redemption, “Ghost,” giving it an interesting and unexpected contrast. Palaris returns to pop-rock, however, with “Blindness for Belief” and “Time to Kiss the Ground.” Then the band branches out with its one acoustic song on the album, “To Cameron, From Taylor.” It is a potentially cute love song, but becomes a bit sappy with the line, “then she asks me, stay with me forever, ‘til our souls touch the sky,” that doesn’t quite match the rest of the album. The harmonies, however, are beautifully executed. With the last track, titled “Life as a Game,” which is inspired by the invisible children of Uganda, Africa, Palaris shows they can be both catchy and solemn. The Pros and Cons of Redemption is, overall, an album that utilizes both pop melody and punchy rock, and it should be interesting to see what Palaris does next.