By Ralph David
Artist: The Paranoyds
Album: Carnage Bargain
Release Date: Sept. 13, 2019 (Suicide Squeeze Records)
Genre: Garage Rock/Punk
Hailing from Los Angeles, The Paranoyds are a well-established DIY band that combines garage rock with an interesting approach to lyrics to create a unique style all their own. The band signed with Suicide Squeeze Records in April after a releasing a series of EPs on Bandcamp. Their EPs are mostly composed of hectic riffs and strong vocals that capture the energy of a wild punk show. Carnage Bargain, the band’s debut album, follows a similar formula that gives them a bright identity
Befitting of their name, many of the lyrical themes of Carnage Bargain confront the suffocating paranoia caused by the issues plaguing the modern world. On the self-titled track, they promote the importance of environmentalism and condemns the powerful people that they believe are responsible for letting the planet’s health fall to a miserable state. “This grass isn’t green/ it’s muddy with gasoline/ there’s filth in the swimming pool/ they threw away all the tools,” sings lead vocalist Lexi Funston while a catchy guitar riff compliments her gruff voice.
In addition to environmentalism, The Paranoyds tackle the harmful effects that consumer culture has on society on “Hungry Sam.” The video that was released to accompany the song has a humorous and surreal tone that depicts a celebrity chef making a dish that contains broken glass and hair. Despite the ingredients, the fans of the chef blindy rush to consume the new product.
A unique trait of the album is its ability to create songs that are easy to listen to while still being able to approach serious subject matter. This is largely due to the stellar instrumentation throughout the tracklist. Songs like “Egg Salad” and “Bear” boast intense guitar solos, memorable bass lines and dynamic drumming.
Thankfully, the entire track list is not comprised solely of warnings about a dystopian future. The single “Girlfriend Degree” is an empowering anthem encouraging women to find their own agency and reject society’s unrealistic standards. The band’s feminsmt attitudes are also reflected on “Courtney”, a song about one of Funston’s friends who rejected the typical path to success and found her own way. Both of these songs introduce elements of pop that make the lyrics perfect for singing along with.
In Conclusion, The Paranoyds put together a solid debut record that has plenty of high energy jams with powerful and confrontational lyrics. The intense instrumentation and interesting lyrical content give the brand a unique image in the current music landscape.