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Palaye Royale - The Bastards

The highly anticipated third album from Canadian-American rock band Palaye Royale has arrived, and it was definitely worth the wait. This album is incredible. Every time I’ve listened to the release since it came out I have been left speechless at the end and wanting to go back and listen all over again, the band have really made an excellent record that they should be proud of.

I’m pretty new to Palaye Royale, I first listened to them last year and was drawn in straight away and loved every song I heard from them. They are a band who put a lot of thought into everything they do and they really seem to care about their fans which is really nice to see. This is something I felt came across a lot in the lead up to this album and even when listening to it. The amount of thought that has gone into this process is clear from the beginning and it has really paid off for them. I found myself getting really excited for this new release from the end of last year with the release of songs such as Nervous Breakdown and Hang On To Yourself, those who know me know I was playing these songs a lot. Trust me, the wait was worth it.

The album opens with Little Bastards and draws you in completely, it’s a really strong start and you know what you’re in for straight away. This song sets the scene for the concept of the album for those listeners interested in the story though you can listen to this album and enjoy it without that too, which I think is good because as much as I love concept albums sometimes they can be draining so I like that I can listen to the concept or not while listening. I really like the bass line of this song, it really carries through well. Some may find the song repetitive but I like the build-up and the desperation being created by the band.

The anger heard on Massacre, The New American Dream is really needed right now and especially with what the lyrics are suggesting. Palaye Royale have always been clear about what their views are and it is depicted in their music and at their live shows clearly. This is a song that I think a lot of people will refer to when tackling gun crimes and gun laws in America. The vocal is desperate here and it works so well with the content of the song and overall tone of the album. I love the breakdown in this song and how powerful the rhythm section is. Again, another continued theme on this album

Something that comes across clearly in the music are these darker tones that don’t disappear at all in the album, I think it’s something that definitely makes Palaye Royale’s music unique to them and the atmosphere that is being created throughout. I love the euphoric feeling on Tonight Is The Night I Die and the slightly slower tone we have yet to hear on the album so far. This song is haunting, it engulfs you completely and I love the added textures of spoken word in here and layered vocals. It definitely seems like a song for a movie or end credits of a movie. Someone I know said it should be the bond theme, which I must admit I agree with. It is one of the standout tracks on the album for me.

The transition from Tonight into Lonely is good and makes more sense in the context of the album, though I loved Lonely as a single. This song is depressing and bleak but I applaud Remington Leith for writing as candidly as he has here as the result is incredible. It must have taken a lot to write a song like Lonely and it does come across in the song how important it was for him to share this. The use of tense in the song is interesting to and how Leith writes about his past and the affect it still has on him. I would also really recommend watching the music video for Lonely if you get the chance, it is mesmerising. The rhythm of this song is interesting and I love the texture that the pizzicato strings bring to it, how it conveys the feeling of the lyrics in the song. That is something else I noticed reoccurred a lot in the album is how well the music fits the feeling of the lyrics and the emotion being shown. It’s something the band does really well. This is another stand out track for me.

Hang On To Yourself is catchy; you will find yourself singing it a lot after listening to it. I think the guitar really stands out in this track and perhaps that’s why the song doesn’t feel as moodily dark as the others so far, while still having the undertones there. I really like the lyrics here too and the layers used as always. If you want a song to listen to by the band without heading into the album straight away then I suggest this one. This slightly lighter feeling musically stays for the next song F***ing With My Head too, this is such a good rock song, that I feel would be incredible live, like most of the songs on the album.

Nervous Breakdown was one of my favourite singles from the album, I love the different parts of this song and the emotions being conveyed in both, between heavy and light. I think both work well together and compliment the other part while creating the anxious feeling the lyrics are conveying. Again I really like the guitar here, especially in the different breakdown sections of the song; the tone of the guitar is great. Another thing I really enjoy about this song is the vocal performance, especially towards the end of the song. Remington Leith always sounds good vocally but I feel that he really pushes it on this album and it definitely pays off.

The riff on Nightmares is really good, and the chorus of this song will grab you completely, I will definitely be coming back to this song a lot in the future. I love the chord progressions here and the overall depth of the song. Masochist has a slower start before it explodes completely in the chorus and I love the build-up of it, the atmosphere created here is great and I applaud the band for this. The slight piano in the background is great, it almost seems unsettling or haunted but it works so well in the context of the song. Again in my notes I have written that the guitar and bass is strong here (much like the rest of the album) and the lyrics are really strong.

The atmosphere on Doom (Empty) is haunting, it really brings the conceptual side of the album to the fore front and it’s completely mesmerising. Powerful guitars here. The layers here really help create space in the song while it also feels like it’s in your head. This is something else I think the band does really well on this album. I wold love if this song was slightly longer, mainly because I really like it and want more from it.

We go from Doom to Black Sheep which is an all-round great rock song with another catchy chorus that won’t leave your head. Again the concept of the album is clear here and I think it comes through more in the second half of the album as you’re drawn in more.

Stay is another of the stand out tracks for me, I love the tone of it and the vocal is very good. It has this euphoric feeling that I really love and I think this song will be one I keep coming back to for a while. Redeemer is heart-breaking. It almost feels stark compared to a lot of the other songs on the album but I love it, definitely a strong ending song for me. I love the subtle strings in it too. But I will say again that this song is heart-breaking. I could cry to it (probably unsurprising to those of you who know me). I feel like Lord Of The Lies is all of the leftover energy the band had being released into a song and it does finish the concept.

So there you have my thoughts on this album, I love it, it’s definitely a step forward in the right direction for the band there’s not a song here I dislike at all and as you can tell I didn’t find much bad to say about the album. In my opinion Palaye Royale are one of the best rock bands releasing at the moment and this album proves that.

Favourite Tracks: Tonight Is The Night I Die, Lonely, Hang On To Yourself, Nervous Breakdown, Nightmares, Stay, Redeemer.

Thanks for reading my spiel, please go and check out this album as it is definitely worth it.

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