Thursday 8 February 2024

Палисад – Истории

Labels: Its You! Records/Polar Summer

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jun 2016


1. М-теория

2. Город

3. 8

4. Берегите Тепло

5. Кладовая Солнца

6. Вальс

7. Обещания

Snow has fallen here today for the first time in what seems like ages. I'm the only person at my day job who gets excited about it too! What it's also done is re-ignite my dive into Russian/Eastern European screamo/emo, as released by Polar Summer. This album from Saint Petersburg's Палисад was released by the band in June 01 2016, before both Polar Summer and fellow Russian label Its You! Records collaborated on a limited tape release in August of the same year.

To hear a Russian band do their best version of midwest/90’s emo is as baffling as it is inspiring, I guess. The way that music can cross the globe and reach corners almost unexpectedly is what makes it great. Палисад (Russian speakers/translators to the front) are a case in point on their 2016 album Истории. Opener ‘М-теория’ immediately shines with jangly guitar melodies and a multi-vocal approach that shows that hearts are worn clearly on sleeves. The percussion and bass work moves sensitively too and it’s not until the song’s closing moments that harsh vocals take hold. ’Город’ uses those harsh vocals to greater effect alongside the band’s fantastic musicianship, which refrains from becoming too dissonant or heavy. It’s a great take on proper emo, over sixteen years after the sub-genres explosion. 

‘8’ is an elegant song that builds instrumentally and while it makes you feel like it’s going to explode, it never does. Instead Палисад uses ‘Берегите Тепло’ to once again express their screamo-side, albeit subtly. The sound on this album is so warm and real, very much in the moment as it was no doubt supposed to be. The band’s art-punk/rock flamboyancy later on in the song shows yet another side to their musical skill. ‘Кладовая Солнца’ is the album’s longest song by a small margin but don’t worry, you’re not getting some obtuse prog-opera or anything. Instead, you’re greeted with a song that’s gentle and oh so soothing. Even toward it’s end when harshness creeps in, it reminds me of the sensitivity of Japanese emo/screamo. It makes sense considering both countries are not that far apart.

Penultimate song ‘Вальс’ is a heady mix of traditional emo and abrasive screamo, with perfect quiet/loud/quiet dynamics that shift effortlessly from one to the other, allowing the instrumentation to take centre stage again. At one point I heard what I thought was a nod to industrial music, but in truth it was just a prolonged guitar note. Album closer ‘Обещания’ sees Палисад delivering one final heavy blow that’s filled with everything that makes their music so great. From hardcore-inspired harsh vocals to twinkling emo guitar melodies and a rhythm section that brings it all together. 

This album (or EP?, I’m not sure now) was exactly what I needed this evening. My head has been so full of rubbish that it’s nice to be able to try and banish some of it to parts of my brain that I’ll never access again. Music doesn’t necessarily do that but this evening it’s really helped.

You can stream and purchase the release digitally via bandcamp below:-

Tape copies are long sold out (maybe someone someday will do a discography release).

Its You! Records -

Polar Summer -

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