When the clock struck midnight on the eve of the year 2020, no one knew that in a short period of time we would be entering into a new world. This is why the latest Palaye Royale album The Bastards fits so perfectly in our own storyboard. This is an album what needs to be heard now more than ever. Seven years ago when the Palaye Royale brothers Remington Leith, Emerson Barrett, and Sebastian Danzig (who are now joined by official member, guitarist Andrew Martin) were beginning their artistic journey in the music realm they had an other-worldly vision begging to be brought to life. “It takes place around the island of Obsidian and it’s set in 1888” Barrett explains. “In short, it’s a world that started off with intentions where the island encouraged free thinkers and artists to exist and, as everything does in life, eventually it becomes this political power and evil toxicity that comes with everything. To remain a true individual in the society, you must wear a gas mask.” Sounding all too familiar, this album conceptually, lyrically, and musically reflects the world that we are living in today. Released on May 29th, via Sumerian Records, The Bastards quickly rose to number one on rock charts, even in the midst of a global pandemic and uproar of tragic events in the United States. The eerie electronics, metal beat-downs, and haunting string arrangements set this album apart from their two previous albums Boom Boom Room (Side A) and Boom Boom Room (Side B).
The album kicks off with Little Bastards, featuring an addictive riff that demands your attention from start to finish. The last minute of this song truly introduces their dark and ominous narrative equipped with a new-fashioned heavy sound and vibe. The adrenalin-fueled aggression continues into Massacre, The New American Dream, where the heavy sound matches the heavy topics of gun/domestic violence, mental health, racist agenda, and substance abuse. If you like your music on the heavy side you will not be disappointed with the following song, Anxiety. The growling vocals compliment the incendiary instrumentals that grow in pace from verse to chorus. Moving on, we slow down the music a bit and speed up the lyrical content with Tonight Is The Night I Die, Lonely, and Hang on To Yourself (Love In Automatic). Each song dressed in its own unique subject matter brings you a heartbreaking and vulnerable truth that we have not yet seen from this band, but have fallen in love with. For the first time in Palaye Royale history, you can honestly feel the raw emotion and connection with the band members. The stand-out single Fucking With My Head hits you next with theatrics that pulls you right into the cinematic daydream that has been scripted through a catchy chorus and a classic rock feel. Nervous Breakdown exemplifies the broken boundaries that were pushed in the writing and recording of this new album.
Nightmares (Coming Down), Masochist, and Doom (Empty) bring back the heaviness of the album with distorted guitars, rebellious drums, and power-driven bass lines. Each song delivers a punch of equally heavy lyrics that leave your heart and mind racing. The introduction to Masochist alone will send chills up your spine and Doom (Empty) shows the haunting influence of their recent tour mate Marilyn Manson. Black Sheep packs a power that will take over the stage and the entire arena once live music begins again. Pulling back again with the song Stay we are reminded that the band has truly broken down their own walls to expose their emotions. Closing out the album with Redeemer was by far one of the best decisions that could have been made because it is the final thought that is left with listeners. The gut-wrenching lyrics and musical cry for attention begins with a subtle hook and ends with a powerhouse of emotion that rips your heart apart at the seams. With the quality and content of The Bastards, we look forward to seeing which dark alley they lead us down next.