Over the next wee while I’m going to try and pick off a few recent EPs starting off with the official debut E.P. from the Paranoid Style.
If there’s another new band that’s exciting me as much as Edinburgh’s Book Group at the moment then it’s the Paranoid Style. However the fact that they’re American makes stalking them in the same way as Book Group a somewhat impractical proposition.
Their brand of accessible, melodic Americana first came to my attention on the Winged Victory tour organised last year by Sandy Fyfe of the Electric Sugar Children. Although they only played a four song set that night, they were clearly something special – a feeling reinforced by a purchase of the tour E.P. ‘Paid to See A Trainwreck’.
As a consequence, it’s been a long 6 months wait for new material since September. The wait has been lightened somewhat by the fact that the band have made a number of songs available with videos on YouTube and there’s a couple of new tunes been put up recently which I hadn’t heard before.
But in terms of records, an official release finally appeared a few weeks back in the shape of ‘The Purposes of Music in General’ a six track download E.P. available from Bar/None Records.
Given that half the E.P. is taken up with three great tracks from the ‘Trainwreck’ E.P., my focus has been on the three “new”songs two of which have been trailed in the band’s video series on YouTube.
The driving ‘The Dear Departed’ may be the wordiest track the band have released so far but the cadence of the words is just one reason it’s also possibly the best thing they’ve done. Driving and melodic, it encapsulates the best of the band in the one song, with Elizabeth’s keyboards as important to the central riff as the guitars.
‘Beyond Petition’ isn’t quite as intense but it’s still a fine piece of work with its twin guitars and interesting harmonies.
The surprise on the E.P is a cover of Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Like Dylan In The Movies’ which has a different feel from their own material, not least because the lead instrumental melody is provided by the bass although there’s also some fantastic lead guitar.
As mentioned above the remainder of the E.P. comprises three tracks from the Trainwreck E.P. (but not the brilliant lead track ‘A Girl’s Gotta Eat’). So we get the rocking ‘Numb It Up and Go’, the uplifting ‘More Than Faintly Absurd’ whilst in its verses and choruses ‘Subtraction By Subtraction boasts terrific melodies.
The principal outcome of ‘The Purposes of Music In General’ is to increase my impatience waiting for the full length debut LP. All the evidence points to it being one of the LPs of the year.
2013 will provide new LPs from two of my first artists ever – De Rosa and Throwing Muses – but it’s no exaggeration to say that I’m looking forward to the Paranoid Style debut every bit as much.
The video for ‘The Dearly Departed’ doesn’t seem to be available at the moment so here’s one of the tracks which features on both E.P.s:
The E.P. is available from Bar/None Records here.