It seems that since the 40 SHADES OF GANGRENE album, some manner of circular pattern has been completed and the scab ends of Irishness have morphed into a sitting duck for Paranoid Visions’ phlegm of diatribe in a match that hasn’t seemed quite so tailor made since their own little Dublin Millennium celebration way back when! Paranoid Visions may have been emitting a mutant strain of spore that sees the ranks swell to 8 since the last album, but what blots the landscape around the band is all too familiar – A sinister mirror image of the dirty 80’s, from the pretensions of tax avoidance midgets on Hanover Quay to dodgy bloated hogs spin mastering one disaster after another on Kildare Street. It’s all ripe for picking and Paranoid Visions are more than aware that there’s a place to ply their disgraceful trade with relevance and mischief amongst all of this.
BEWARE OF THE GOD as an album is not, as the title may suggest, a tired old spew of endlessly stomped-into-the-mud, painfully obvious anti-church drivel, but a mockery of the fodder which has been praised in a religious manner for the last decade or so and their reworking of the Threat’s seminal HIGH COST OF LIVING is a fitting doorstep to all of this. Normally, it would be considered an act of treason to ad a layer of vocal sentiment to a song which originally said it all by saying no more than the title itself, but some manner of immunity seems to be granted upon PV in this regard!! Sonically, there are familiar tones here to the highly polished Paranoid Visions of the AFTER THE FACTION era, strongly apparent on the anthemic cadence to punk I AM THE ONE.
The more upbeat SEX KILLS utilises the band’s 3 vocals effectively in a cautionary spiel about blind provision of bait for playground stalkers fuelled to the gills with media sex. Throw in some high octane guitar interludes and you’ve got a strangely compelling Crass/ Bad Religion hybrid!! Darker gothic undertones that the band have often played with rise to the surface on BONDAGE and weave their way around the mythologies of criminal rehabilitation. It may be a well worn subject, but the feckless ghosts of incarceration drooling their way around Dublin of speak volumes about it’s effectiveness on certain breeds. Interestingly, some classical Spanish guitar from the now departed-from-the-ranks Joe Libido ads a refreshing and inventive dimension on the brief NO SUNNY DAYS, recalling somewhat the far-reaching experimentation of the Poison Girls’ WHERE’S THE PLEASURE? era. Drawing such artistic elbow room into the mix buffers the onslaught and is a side of the band that is definitely worthy of further exploration.
NEW DARK AGES is a classic slice of anarchic caution which chugs along on a one note guitar trick and a catchy 3 chord chorus hook in a very old school fashion, and Paranoid Visions take cue from a vintage era of themselves for the guitar hooks on FROM DUBLIN WITH LOVE, which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t really express very much love at all. It’s a repeated theme for the band and a long standing hate affair!!!
There’s an alcohol lacquered swagger on SHELL TO SEA, which mimics many unmentionable bands pleading “Oirishness” as their sole idea and strongly suggests that there’s maybe not an awful lot to be proud of clinging to in that regard. It puts a swift point across and rubbishes the directives of those who base their entire repertoire on this sound. And if there’s room for blunt rhetoric then it’s right here in the form of the brief ASYLUM IN MY MIND, an affirmation of self imposed exile which ( if not presented in an endless and self congratulatory manner ) has a place of every punk record!!!
FATAL DISTRACTION’s interplay of angular guitar squeals and doomy rant has a rigid and claustrophobic air of Rudimentary Peni something verging on gothic. It doesn’t concoct a joyous outlook, but a more positive sentiment would be out of place in the context of this body of music! And these days, no Paranoid Visions record would be complete without an ode to another character in the motley collection of trophy freaks. The dishonour goes to Josef Fritzl and FRITZL’S BASEMENT concludes the main bulk of sonic disgust in a very fitting manner.
The bonus tracks, Devo’s MONGOLOID ( a frequent addition to their live set ) and a great rendition of Alternative TV’s ACTION, TIME AND VISION ( could very well be the band’s own composition ) are rounded off by a new acoustic version of the frequently recorded STRANGE GIRL. Surely at this point there’s more than enough of them for a STRANGE GIRL CD??….. Hidden at the very end is the audio of their AMHRAN NA BHFIANN strangulation from the Podge & Rodge Show which is no doubt also knocking around on youtube somewhere.
The current productivity of Paranoid Visions is part of the band’s strength. It has already matched their output from the ROBOT IS RUNNING AMOK EP right up to IMMATURE RECOLLECTIONS and as long the same prevailing grievances that haunted their former incarnation linger like the musk and maggots of a stale corpse under the floorboards then there’s still plenty of venom to spit!!