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PARANOID VISIONS – ‘Rebellion’ Album Review


paranoid-visionsParanoid Visions formed in 1981 and are regarded as Irelands longest serving punk rock band. The band have played with and toured with artists like Jello Biafra, UK Subs, GBH, Poison Girls, Dirt, Conflict, Dickies, Theatre of Hate, New Model Army and The Damned. In 2013 they formed an alliance with Crass vocalist Steve Ignorant and continue to perform and record with him, so far the collaboration has produced two full length albums and two extended play singles.

Set for release on August 4th 2017 and available from www.advancerecords.com, Paranoid Visions have recorded an extended set of tracks that would have been released as an EP but they have added five bonus tracks creating a hybrid EP/LP release!

The album is pressed on beautiful pink vinyl and featuring a Lowry inspired painting of the band outside the Wintergarden in Blackpool, the home of the annual Rebellion festival. After charting in Ireland with their last release with Steve Ignorant, Deko and the band have another chance with this one delivering on 35 years of punk rock innovation and sheer dedication.

The simply magnificent opener, No Pasaran (Are You Getting The Picture) is epic in scope and sound. With superb female/male vocal alternating the leads and a massive chorus with keyboard enhancement, I was simply stunned at one of the tracks of the year with some brilliant anti-racism lyrics!

Ego Mania (It’s All About You) focuses on the social media trend creating self obsessed citizens “you’ve got a smart phone, but you’re not too bright”!  It’s a powerful punk rock song and Paranoid Visions are a band at the top of their game full of power, anger and melody with some great songwriting chops – the sound reminds me of Anima Mundi, a superb Los Angeles anarcho-punk band…loved it!

On Greytown the focus turns to a mosh-pit friendly song about living in despair at banality and it packs a serious punch with a UK Subs vibe. The focus on societies decline continues with Dead Zoo as the band tackles the subject of drug and alcohol abuse. The song opens with a mournful guitar and Deko’s signature voice delivers a ballad style restrained punk/folk track. With some soaring guitar work, the lyrics hit hard and the echoing female backing vocals add an eerie atmosphere to a powerful track.

The record is strictly limited to 500 copies and some even more limited edition copies come with a cd version cased in a printed tin. The five bonus tracks consist of three tracks recorded live in the studio (no overdubs / first takes) The Angelus combines military drums with church bells, a priest and builds, and builds with single strummed power chords  before launching into a churning head banger with a New Model Army vibe.

Murder Most Foul creates a lonely street scene with footsteps and dogs barking before the pounding bass and reverb tinged chords lead into a great guitar lick to produce a slower number led by the female vocals and telling a story with aplomb – “You Watch your Back” – indeed! The third of the five bonus tracks is a ska-infused boot stomper whereas West One is a heavier punk rock track covering The Ruts classic.

The album concludes with a total departure in sound with a stunning dance remix of the 2012 track Statement of Intent featuring the Shend (from the Cravats) – it’s a raver and its bloody brilliant.

Great band, great album, great punk rock – get Rebellion by Paranoid Visions asap!