The Paranoid Style
The Paranoid Style is a sprawling garage-punk-pop outfit built around singer and songwriter Elizabeth Nelson, who counts the T. Rex, the Mekons, and Elvis Costello among her influences. Her articulate vocal delivery is fitting for a band named after historian Richard J. Hofstadter's 1964 essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Nelson and her husband Timothy Bracy of the Mendoza Line lead a fluctuating lineup, sometimes numbering over a dozen players. Formed in Washington, D.C. in 2012, the Paranoid Style were soon invited to sign with Bar/None Records, which released the EP The Purposes of Music in General in 2013. Later that year, Misra released the EP on cassette alongside another EP, The Power of Our Proven System. A third EP, Rock & Roll Just Can’t Recall, followed in 2015. The band's full-length debut, Rolling Disclosure, arrived on Bar/None in the summer of 2016 and included a cover of Wreckless Eric's "Duvet Fever." ~ Marcy Donelson
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 15, 2016 | Bar - None Records
For those unfamiliar with the EPs leading up to their full-length debut, Rolling Disclosure, the Paranoid Style took their name from historian Richard J. Hofstadter's 1964 essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics, and not without purpose. Lead singer and songwriter Elizabeth Nelson channels articulate social and political observations through the group's garage-punk-pop. ("Magic, fear, and superstition are just what pays the bills.") Nelson's co-bandleader and husband, Timothy Bracy, known to some for his time with the Mendoza Line, is joined on the album by an extensive list of musicians, including Bruce Bennett of the A-Bones. The large rotating group of players contributes to a live jam feel on the record. Album highlight "Common Emergencies" is a loose rocker fueled by hooks and references to "I've Been Working on the Railroad" among its wordplay. It was co-written by Nelson and R.E.M. collaborator Scott McCaughey (the Minus 5, Tired Pony). On a record with no true ballads, "Giving Up Early (On Tomorrow)" and "Daniel in the Basement" are two especially lively tunes, with mosh-pit tempos balanced somewhat by Nelson's vocal tone, which may seem more typical of musical theater than of rock & roll. Not unlike Smoking Popes, the juxtaposition gives the Paranoid Style an attention-getting and recognizable sound. On the album's more melancholy side, "Cathedral Lows" churns and floats along the lines of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven" -- dreamy but still energized. Never lackadaisical, Rolling Disclosure is the type of record that will sell tickets to shows, and maybe even inspire a new Hofstadter fan or two. ~ Marcy Donelson
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