It's my opinion that Texas based act The Palatines are one of the best bands in pop punk at the moment. 2018's Death From Below was one of my favourite albums of the year and their split release this year with fellow Texan's Destroy Orbison was also superb. In September, the three piece released a new six song EP titled Vacation To Helheim. Given how much I enjoyed the previous two Palatines releases, I got around to listening to this disgustingly late. When I did finally listen to it I was even more disgusted with myself as it's really, really good. Perhaps their best release yet. I'll explain why.
You'll Remember Me originally appeared on the split with Destroy Orbison. It's a fast and raucous song about a night out that went terribly wrong. You'll Remember Me definitely falls into the more rambunctious side of the punk rock genre whilst retaining some pop qualities with some infectious hooks and some catchy lyrics. The penultimate song is named To The Cleaners and sees a return back to the buzzsaw pop punk style. You could easily find this song on a Copyrights album. That not only says something about its sound but also its quality. This is as good as any song the Chicago band have written and The Copyrights are a band I hold with the highest regard so that's a big compliment. To The Cleaners is about being at the end of your tether and feeling like it's time to end it all. Lyrically, it's a very sad song but there's an upbeat nature to the song that initially drew me in. There's this great energy and urgency in the way that the song is played that I'm all over. The moment towards the end of the song after they play the chorus and then the song cuts out, making you think it's done, before coming back in is brilliant. I love things like that in songs. The final track is the EP's title track Vacation To Helheim. I wasn't sure where/what Helheim was originally so I, again, made my way to Google. It turns out The Palatines are making a reference to a region in the video game God Of War where Helheim is known as the realm of the dead. It sure doesn't sound like the sort of place I'd like to go on vacation. The song is about death but The Palatines have found a way to make it sound like a lot of fun and I wish I could get the chance to see The Palatine live to get the chance to sing the chorus back at the band. This is a stunning way to finish the EP.
Like I said at the start of this review, The Palatines are one of the best pop punk bands around at the moment. Vacation To Helheim is another brilliant release that I would expect to place quite highly in my, and many other peoples’, end of year lists.
Stream and download Vacation To Helheim here: https://thepalatines.bandcamp.com/
Like The Palatines here: https://www.facebook.com/thepalatinestx/
This review was written by Colin Clark.