Los Angeles-based garage punk quartet the Paranoyds are coming to Larimer Lounge on February 12, sharing the bill with Spendtime Palace and local staple Princess Dewclaw. Fresh off the heels of their last tour promoting their debut album, which was released last September, the Paranoyds were here in Denver just last October — and yet, it still feels like it’s been too long.
The Paranoyds performed for the first time in May of 2018 — a show that they opened. Their performance that night was loud, energetic, jaw-dropping — so impactful, in fact, that I wound my way over to their merch table after their set and began chatting with them. At the time, they weren’t signed to any label and spread across the merch table was an array of 7” records, a series of pressings funded out the pockets of the band themselves. Now, less than two years later, the Paranoyds are embarking on their third full tour around the US with several releases on the well-established independent label Suicide Squeeze in tow.
The band’s beginnings can be traced back to a friendship forged between Staz Lindes and Laila Hashemi as teens. Lexi Funston and David Ruiz joined in not long after on guitar and drums, respectively. Together, the band found the personnel for their sonic balance of jubilant energy and foreboding undercurrents. The Paranoyds channel revelry, revulsion and sheer rage in their debut album, Carnage Bargain — a complex blend of garage rock grit, new wave swagger and horror film campiness, making Princess Dewclaw the perfect local opener.
In an interview with Paper Magazine last June, the band explained the inspiration for the first single off of Carnage Bargain, “Girlfriend Degree.” A play on the horribly sexist trope of the “Mrs. Degree,” “Girlfriend Degree” explores the double-bind young women often become entrapped in. The band told Paper Magazine, “We think everyone can be susceptible to falling under the shadow of their partner, especially young women. ‘Girlfriend Degree’ is a call to arms, a reminder to be a supremely self-loving woman, who’s taking the time to do things for herself — because she wants to. It’s so easy to spend all your time to do things for other people and then forget to just “do you” and to pursue your own passions —it’s a song about taking care of #1!”
One of the more distinctive styles of the Paranoyds is the element of call-and-response between the singers, creating a dizzying yet distinctly playful style of vocalization, a style also utilized by the Seattle band Mommy Long Legs. The embrace of atonal chords and frequent tempo changes throughout their songs also set the Paranoyds apart from the many garage-punk bands coming out of LA’s DIY scene in that they are less garage than they are punk. The fast pace and sheer rocking guitar jams harken back to the Riot grrrl days of West Coast punk, a style that was seemingly left in the ‘90s — that is, until The Paranoyds rose to the forefront. Layering female vocals, and combined with lots of distortion, prominent bass lines and warbling keys all come together in an awesome cacophony of feminist rage and blasé coolness.
The Paranoyds are joined on stage with fellow Californians Spendtime Palace, who combine psych-rock influences with a more poppy structure to create sun-drenched, emotive rock. Princess Dewclaw will kick the night off with their signature screaming, campy punk in a night of loud, noisy rock.
The Paranoyds will play at Larimer Lounge on February 12th. Tickets for the show are available here. Doors are at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.