How do you take your coffee? One teaspoon, two perhaps? A little sugar or maybe with a little milk? Coffee can be quite nice when served appropriately. It perks you up in the morning and gets the energy flowing for the rest of the day or sometimes even clears your head. Ah coffee, there’s never really a bad time for one (unless you’re trying to get to bed that is).
There’s a point to my rambling. Coffee is the metaphor for music in this review, and apparently no one taught Swedish band 偏執症者 (Paranoid) how to make coffee properly. With their sophomore album Heavy Mental Fuck Up!, they bought the cheapest bulk buy instant coffee they could find, tore the bag open, heaved with might the entire contents at an unfortunate, solemn, unsuspecting cup, filling it somewhat; making a mess of the kitchen in the process and then proceeding to pour the freeze dried flakes directly into their mouth (and everywhere else) while screaming and drooling.
Don’t you DARE judge them though! While their take on coffee consumption is interesting to the layman at best, their style is artistic at least.
This is where I’ll stop using the metaphor, hopefully the point has been made that these guys are weird and intense but not in a bad way at all! Blending aspects of underground Punk music, Black Metal, Grunge, Japanese flavoured insanity and terrible production values, 偏執症者 (Paranoid) have put together a terrific soundtrack to trash someone’s house to. Fuzz lovers will love the overabundance of Big Muff tones on the Guitar and Bass and drummers will be confused by the low-fi recording techniques used throughout.
There are plenty of time signature changes, samples of Chainsaws (or leaf blowers, it’s hard to tell) and overall ridiculousness. Fans of Celtic Frost, Sodom, Possessed, Disclosed and Venom will be very pleased!
The more I’ve listened, the more I’ve grown to really enjoy it! As mentioned, there is very little in the way of production with all of the songs sounding relatively similar. Blasting chords and punk esque growls hollering almost at all times. There are no dynamics, heck I don’t even think the album is in stereo! The whole point is just to be loud, noisy and difficult to listen to. The aesthetic is pretty damn cool though, it’s the quintessential anti-album, a rebellion. A brilliantly bellowed statement that nothing musical needs to be close to perfect to be amazing and that attitude can definitely be enough. I’d even go as far to say that the simplicity on show is virtuosic.
Maybe even a little too virtuosic. The band is a live band, making albums appears to be a side effect of playing music in general but that is just my guess. I’d rather be seeing them live to be frank, their shows would be crazy! I could easily imagine flung chairs, lobbed bottles cracking on walls and skulls, kicking and punching… possibly even some G.G. Allin style action.
At heart, it’s the production of a few guys that love punk music and black metal combining the two with a rock and roll attitude to make something intense and fun without the worry or rigor of deep meaning or thought. This presents a bit of a barrier for entry for potential listeners; if you need to draw such things from music in order to get something out of it then this is not the album for you. If you can listen to chaos and gain catharsis out of madness then you’re in luck! In any case, I’m sure they care little for my opinion or yours, we either like it or we don’t. On that note though, I think it is refreshingly rad. *sips soy latte*