Even for the uninitiated, it's easy to tell The Paranoyds are from Los Angeles. Carnage Bargain is a day-glo modernisation of the punk rock that's defined the city for decades; contemporary femininity explored through vocals that channel Alice Bag and Exene Cervenka. It’s a throwback to the classic acts of the 1970s.
The band also manage to swerve the dick-measuring swagger of so many punk instrumentalists since those times, painting a jaunty, involving but unobtrusive backdrop for their pointed lyrics. The tone of this album is hinted at by its garish cover, bright, hyperactive and full of life. And its production avoids dirgey grossness, favouring overdriven garage-punk jubilance. The only way you'd miss a word in this mix is by not listening.
But these words aren't preachy, Idles-style diatribes. Lyrics are generous enough to suggest answers, but wise enough to leave questions open. And the whole album has a playful looseness, refusing to patronise listeners by positioning itself as an educator. It's more like a friend; hearing, understanding and sharing your exasperated questions.
Carnage Bargain knows you're on the same page as it. How could you not be? Only the wilfully dense aren't keyed in to the modern world's absurdity. But this album just gives you an opportunity to dance with it for a half hour or so, laugh in life's face, and find kinship in anger.
Carnage Bargain will be released on the 13th September. Pre-order the album and stream its first three singles here.
Words by Andrew O’Keefe