Track Of The Day: The Paranoyds – ‘Lizzie’

Following the release of 2019’s album Carnage Bargain and tracks such as ‘Pet Cemetery’ and last year’s ‘Egg Salad’, and having played alongside bands such as Jack White and Sunflower Bean, LA four-piece, Staz, Laila, Lexi and David – aka The Paranoyds – have now announced the release of their second album, Talk Talk Talk.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Lizzie‘ reflects on the mixed feelings of having a celebrity or otherworldly crush. Propelled by a retro, rockabilly energy, languid vocals flow alongside the whirring fuzz of jangly hooks, creating a scuzzy slice of riot grrrl-infused surf-pop. With its sunny, playful musicality juxtaposed with a racing, swirling drive, it builds with a frenzied allure to a perfectly uplifting summer anthem. Of the track, Lexi from the band explains:

“She’s cute, she’s passionate, she’s dedicated to her art, but there’s this one thing. She’s a walking contradiction. How does she consistently act in roles, where she plays a truth-seeker, a down-to-earth, relatable woman who’s usually trying to escape some sort of oppressive event or oppressive relationship and then in real life be completely bound to a religion with foundations that are essentially a science fiction novel?

‘Lizzie’ is accompanied by a JJ Stratford-directed, wonderfully quirky new retro-tinged video which sees the band jetting off into space, donning tin foil hats and plenty of sass. Watch it here:

Talk Talk Talk, the upcoming new video from The Paranoyds, is set for release on 9th September via Third Man Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: The Paranoyds – ‘Egg Salad’

Following the release of 2019’s album Carnage Bargain and tracks such as ‘Pet Cemetery’ and ‘Hotel Celebrity’, LA four-piece, Staz, Laila, Lexi and David – aka The Paranoyds – have now shared a new video for album track ‘Egg Salad’.

Oozing a jangling post-punk scuzz fused together with a sunny surf-rock energy, ‘Egg Salad’ is filled with fuzzed-out hooks alongside the band’s trademark languid insouciant vocals. Propelled by a seething angst-fuelled drive, it juxtaposes poignant lyrical observations and a scathing wit with a compelling, playful musicality. Building in tempo throughout, a striking grunge-fuelled anthem is created, with shades of the raw grit of the likes of Courtney Barnett.

Of the band’s name, The Paranoyds explain:

We’re living in the dystopian future. Our lives are completely tracked and programmed, our extension of ourselves is a handheld computer with a microphone and camera that stays on while were unaware, and, on top of everything, the extreme right is gaining continuous world power… What isn’t there to be paranoyd about?”

‘Egg Salad’ is accompanied by a brand new video depicting “the glitzy & glamorous world of a teenage girl who, after accidentally catching a beauty pageant on TV, dreams of her rise to stardom & subsequent downfall…” (director Nicole Stunwyck). Watch here:

 Carnage Bargain, The Paranoyds’ latest album, is out now via Suicide Squeeze. Listen here.

Mari Lane 
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Little Ghost

ALBUM: The Paranoyds – ‘Carnage Bargain’

Fuelled by 1970s punk and cult horror movies, Southern California garage punk quartet The Paranoyds take on the male-dominated music scene with their debut long-play Carnage Bargain; a raucous blend of dead-pan observations on modern culture and wild, left-of-centre musical influences, because “what isn’t there to be paranoid about?”

The band – consisting of Staz Lindes on bass, Lexi Funston on guitar, Laila Hashemi on keyboards, and David Ruiz on drums – released their debut After You in 2016, followed by 2017’s Eat Their Own EP; establishing themselves as purveyors of do-it-yourself, self-dependent punk rock. With their debut album, The Paranoyds have brought back a few re-recorded classics from those aforementioned releases, like ‘Ratboy’, ‘Heather Doubtfire’, and ‘Bear’, but have also brought along a whole bunch of different for their Carnage Bargain.

The opening hits you in the face with The Paranoyds’ battle cry, a piercing two-note guitar intro of alternating half-tones, leading to ‘Face First’. The opening track draws influence from the 1978 horror flick ‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’ and John Carpenter’s 1988 sci-fi dystopia ‘They Live’, but instead of humanity being duplicated by extraterrestrial lifeforms, predatory behaviour results from growing obsession enabled by technology: “It’s easy now / I’ve been watching you for some time.”

Attacking consumerism with title track ‘Carnage Bargain’, The Paranoyds layer Lindes’ throbbing basslines, Funston’s scuzzy guitar riffs, the punchy drum assault of Ruiz, and the aberrant keys of Hashemi over scathing lyrical observations, delivered in a rambling vocal style reminiscent of Courtney Barnett. “The grass isn’t green / It’s muddy with gasoline / There’s filth in the swimming pool / They’ve thrown away all the tools.”

Speaking of Barnett, ‘Courtney’ is another snarky stream of consciousness, further showcasing The Paranoyds’ overlapping vocal abilities – particularly from Lindes and  Funston. Whereas thrashing lead single, ‘Girlfriend Degree’ rejects the status quo with catchy surf-rock pop that empowers! “I’m not a shadow of myself / Looking good for somebody else.” 

Carnage Bargain continues to fishtail with genre-mashing tracks like ‘Egg Salad’, ‘Hungry Sam’, and ‘Laundry’; each one getting progressively weirder than the last. This can be attributed to Hashemi’s spooky key tones, which exude the campiness of 60s cult horror soundtracks. Indeed,  Hashemi’s solo on the resurrected ‘After You’ EP track, ‘Rat Boy’, is the perfect way to close this psych-punk fever-dream.

Just like their Los Angeles forerunners, X, The Paranoyds are often off-kilter in their delivery, and all the better for it. So, close your curtains, turn off the lights, and put needle to wax… Carnage Bargain is raw paranoid punk that you won’t be able to escape from. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Carnage Bargain is out now via Suicide Squeeze Records.

 

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Five Favourites: The Paranoyds

Set to release their debut album next month, LA band The Paranoyds have been treating our ears to singles such as ‘Carnage Bargain’, ‘Hungry Sam’ and ‘Trade Our Sins’ throughout this year, cementing us as firm fans who cannot wait for the full length release. Delivering striking grunge-fuelled anthems filled with scathing lyrical observations and languid, insouciant vocals, we just can’t get enough of The Paranoyds’ raucous rock grit and sunny, punk-pop energy.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a new band/artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Lexi, Staz and Laila from The Paranoyds to talk about her ‘Five Favourites’ – five songs or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques, or simply take them back to a specific feeling or time. Check out their choices below, and make sure you watch the band’s latest video for ‘Carnage Bargain’ at the end of this post.

Built to Spill There’s Nothing Wrong with Love
We love Built to Spill! Staz and I went through a huge phase of non-stop listening to them in 2014. This album is so good, the songs are so friggin’ catchy. I think it’s impossible to listen to it and not belt out the lyrics. I love that indie, strat tone and how the guitars complement but also play off with each other. The tracks are misleading too, on the surface they seem like simple, straight-forward songs, but there are a lot of layers. Favourite song, ‘Car’
– Lexi 

X – WILD GIFT and UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN
Every track is a banger on both of these iconic albums. I would throw Los Angeles, X’s first born in a lineup of legends, but I want to give these other records some love. You will always remember the time and place you got into X. These records forever hold that time in your life captive like a spell. I put on ‘The Once Over Twice’ and there I am 13 years old in my friends exhausted bedroom wondering if I’ll ever make anything that’ll sound this good and last this long, coming to life as soon as the right circuits touch. Those perfect imperfect harmonies, Chuck Berry guitar licks making sense with vulgar lyrics. And those keys! Good god! Some things last a long time and my love for X may last forever!
– Staz

DEVO – Are We Not Men?
DEVO is a benchmark for The Paranoyds. When we’re writing songs, the thought running through our heads is “is this as weird and strange as a DEVO song?” Lexi and I first saw DEVO when we were 16 through a fence in Brooklyn and we were undoubtedly blown away. Staz often describes their live set as seeing lightning strike. I feel the same way listening to this album. It’s a rare piece of art that you can’t recreate, and you find something new in it with each listen.
– Laila 

The Strokes – Is This It?
We love this album like a guilty pleasure. It’s become a sort of tour tradition to blast the whole album in the van and have a group sing-a-long. These songs have the catchiest melodies and you can’t help but belt out the songs like you’re a teenager in your bedroom. What I love most is that all the tracks have the grit of classic rock and roll, but they also have the upbeat feel-good vibes of a disco song. It’s such a solid album that I always come back to. For me, it’s timeless and I’ll never get tired of it!
– Laila

Massive thanks to The Paranoyds for talking about their five favourite albums with us! 

Carnage Bargain, the upcoming debut album from The Paranoyds, is out 13th September via Suicide Squeeze. Watch the video for the title track here: