The Paranoyds are a four piece punk band hailing from Los Angeles, California. Their latest release, Carnage Bargain, continues to display them as one of the most creative and exciting upcoming punk bands. Blending shades of classic rock with its guitar riffing styles, and garage rock with its raw jam-like nature, the Paranoyds unique sound only grows this time around. The instrumentation is all dexterous and skillful, while still maintaining the lazy and messy punk energy.
The album kicks off with “Face First.” The opening dissonant chords quickly melt off into the lazy and hypnotic main riff that drives the rest of the song. It’s a catchy opener with a great vocal hook that closely mimic the bouncy guitar riffs. The chorus has surprisingly beautiful overlaying harmonies that work perfectly. There’s also some gritty noises that drive the song like layers of guitar slides and pick scraping that are really enjoyable.
What’s interesting is all the different places the Paranoyds draw their influences from. “Bear” is a super riffy track in the vein of old school Black Sabbath. The harmonic riffing style of “Hungry Sam” is reminiscent of the B-52’s. The final track, “Ratboy,” ends with an all out jam with Doors-like organ rocking. The Paranoyds wear their influences on their sleeve and in honorable fashion. All these styles blended with their natural punk rock voice equates to something really awesome and refreshing.
The album highlight may be “Heather Doubtfire.” It’s a seemingly straightforward Paranoyds tune with chugging guitar and organ riffing, but where this song draws its power is from its monster chorus. The slow strummed chords with the repeated line, “it’s the same damn thing,” draw a huge amount of emotion and builds energy quickly. There is also a nice stripped down outro with organ, strings and quiet guitar jangling along which makes a fitting end for this powerhouse of a song.
Overall, Carnage Bargain is a huge triumph for the Paranoyds. Sure, there are some less inspired tracks on the album, but they are few and far between and by no means filler. What’s important is the band’s ability to create punk music, a genre that can easily slide into repetition and tropes, that borrows from so many different perspectives that it feels new and exciting.