Paranoid Visions – Escape from the Austerity Complex

Nothing feels out of place, for all the jumble of style, sounds and attitudes it’s a focussed release and that’s got a lot to do with the way the vocals are delivered and set up. As we said before it has the feel of a cabaret, albeit with a fucking good compère.

http://www.paranoidvisions.com

Singing about negative equity in a punk record? Is there no escape? Apparently not. This is not an “ordinary punk” record in any case. Frankly it’s an LP that’s set up more like a music hall show or a soundtrack to an old fashioned review – it’s also bloody long, clocking in at around 70m minutes - the sort of length more suited to Gong. By the end you will feel whacked but in no doubt of the message.

Paranoid Visions have been around a long time but like many punk bands they sing about what’s going on around them now: directly, aggressively and sometimes – just sometimes - with a pinch of humour. For sure the message on some tracks can come across as laboured; there are enough tub thumping lyrics here to rouse a whole army for General Ludd. But when Deka Coppa’s lines hit home they are tremendous; Recession Club and All Systems Go are brutally straight class war battle cries and as to the point as you could wish. Most enjoyably, there’s a breadth of sound on Escape From The Austerity Complex that makes the listen a fascinating if slightly exhausting one: the opener Austerity Crusade is more of a mock tattoo whereas the brilliant Poles Apart and the 10 minute closer, Recession Club are long drawn-out struggles between Coppa’s sermon and a post-apocalyptic mood piece – replete on Recession Club with a reportage sample from Auntie Beeb - that is in some ways very similar to Meat Is Murder.

There are plenty of cut ups and samples (Tainted Ink) Of course there are some thumping punk tracks on here, such as the blazing On The Run and Split Personality (with Crass’s Steve Ignorant) and the sardonic rallying cry featuring TV Smith, Outsider Artist, but there’s a rock sensibility here too, riffs and drumming that would sit well with a mid-70s Who (Politician) or even The Pink Fairies. There are lots of guest appearances too: as well as Smith and Ignorant we have Zillah Minx and The Shend. Nothing feels out of place, for all the jumble of style, sounds and attitudes it’s a focussed release and that’s got a lot to do with the way the vocals are delivered and set up. As we said before it has the feel of a cabaret, albeit with a fucking good compère.

So, it’s a long listen but there’s a hell of a lot of valid reasons to recommend this record.