"Our Band Sucks" is hard to beat as a closer, too, both for a beer-soaked night at the bar and for this album. Like '60s pop done by Portishead, it's the nagging conscience of every local band, a dreamy, delicate, piano-plinking AM-era soundtrack to failure and disillusionment: "How we gonna get a record deal if we can't afford a CD?"

It's the burning cynicism of the disaffected turned on its head. This would all be so grave and important if it wasn't all so silly and easy to sing along to. A gifted and underappreciated lyricist, Gutter on this album has removed all the filters, given in to every whim, allowed himself to play with every fear and inhibition that's ever crossed his path (hell, he's had six years to collect them since the last PSC record).

Everything coalesces in the three-strum rhythm of "No Fear," where Vanityites' Chris Moulton and Gavin Castleton (one of Gruvis Malt, now solo) lend voices and drama to an array of options: "We could cry like we're cutting teeth/Or we could just bite down."

Paranoid Social Club have sunk their teeth right in and they're not letting go.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached at  sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

AXIS IV | Released by Paranoid Social Club | with the Mallett Brothers Band + the Pubcrawlers | at Port City Music Hall, in Portland | May 20 |  pscmusic.com

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Black Sabbath, Portishead,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEVEN-MAN ARMY  |  July 24, 2014
    Lately, it’s been open season on “Wagon Wheel,” which has become the acoustic musician’s “Freebird,” one of the very few songs that people actually know well enough to find it funny to request.
    "(Israeli) immigration asked me at the airport why I didn’t leave when I could have and I said it was because I felt safe. They told me I was nuts.”
  •   WHAT YOU SAY, RYAN?  |  July 16, 2014
    Ryan’s calling card is his sincerity. While the production and presentation are of a genre, you won’t find him talking about puffing the chron or dissing women or dropping a million f-bombs or using a bunch of contemporary rap jargon. He’s got a plan and he executes it, with more variety and modes of attack than he’s had on display to this point.
  •   BETTY CODY, 1921-2014  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine music community lost a hidden giant last week with the death of Betty Cody, at 92.
  •   ADVENTURES IN LO-FI  |  July 11, 2014
    One obvious reason for heavy music is catharsis, a healthy release for all the built-up bullshit modern life entails. Like kickboxing class for suburban women, but with lots of black clothing and long hair.

 See all articles by: SAM PFEIFLE