Album Review :
Palaris - The Pros and Cons of Redemption

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Artist: Palaris
Album: The Pros and Cons of Redemption
Label: Blue Duck Records
Release Date: August 21, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Long Walk Home
2. Thinking to Listen
3. Sandboxes and Sailboats
4. Iscariot
5. Masquerade
6. Ghost
7. Blindness for Belief
8. Time to Kiss the Ground
9. To Cameron, from Taylor
10. Life as a Game

Palaris are, at this stage in their career, one of those bands that I could see as an opening act and absolutely love. It’s happened to all of us with any number of bands, and while I only have this CD to go by, I am convinced that Palaris would be the same, had I seen them live. The next step is to rush back to the merch table and buy a shirt and CD, or, if you’re down on cash, make a choice of priorities. Personally, I’d probably have gone with the CD. You get into the car and on the way home listen to your new favorite band, and invariably you are disappointed. Luckily, I have not seen Palaris live and bought their CD afterwards. I have only been sent this CD to review, and that leaves me without the disappointment. To put it more clearly, I enjoy The Pros and Cons of Redemption, but I bet their live show is even more enjoyable.

Palaris are among the first bands on Blue Duck Records. If you don’t know anything about this label, check them out. They have a unique business plan and seem like a cool place to be for a band like this. The artwork is incredible for such a small band on such a small label. Musically, Palaris are easy to categorize, but hard to forget. It’s indie rock/ emo pop/ melodic, catchy alternative (whatever you want to call it) with a leaning reminder that rock and roll was birthed of blues. The instrumentals work together wonderfully to create songs that can get stuck in your brain and you will happily sing along or deeply bob your head, depending on the track. There’s also a slowed down acoustic love song (“To Cameron, from Taylor”), and a piano is added for the upbeat “Time to Kiss the Ground.” The vocals might not seem as crisply developed as those of certain other bands in this genre, but after a few spins through I’ve almost forgotten that that was my first impression since I’ve learned to appreciate what this guy is doing.

Palaris might not break a lot of walls down, but they sure do make things interesting. While their overall style has been heard plenty of times, they make it their own and play it with a well-crafted twist. For fans of This Providence, The Fold, or The Academy Is…, Palaris are a band worth looking into.

8/10

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