New Music: The Paranoyds ‘After You’ EP

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The Paranoyds live at Non Plus Ultra, in Los Angeles, CA.

Seemingly out of nowhere, LA’s The Paranoyds dropped ‘After You’ today, their debut EP on Hard Feelings Records.

Until a few weeks ago, not one solid recording by the band existed. On top of that, there’s actually little known about The Paranoyds—a four-piece made up of Laila Hashemi (keys, vocals), Lexi Funston (guitar/bass, vocals), David Ruiz (drums), and Staz Lindes (bass/guitar, vocals)—save for what gets tossed around fashion blogs when Staz is written about. The band, once shrouded in mystery, are finally stepping out of their basement and into the world with a whirling, garage-punk gem of an EP as a true first offering. Each song is its own thrill ride, hitting hard and fast, yet so keenly aware of its pace, it weaves in moments that slow down just enough to let you catch your breath.

The vibe on After You is pretty straightforward (or not)—heavy, California garage-rock feeling like the golden years of late 70s post-punk. The collection is littered with themes of wants and desires, as screaming affirmations about possession/obsession (“you don’t have what I want” / “you’re what I want”) appear at multiple intersections throughout the four-song release.  These ideas are emphasized by dual vocals that anxiously cut across and overlap buzzing bass lines, sludgey breakdowns, and jolting riffs, all rumbling alongside warped synths until there’s nothing left. Songs like “Rat Boy and “Freak Out” play along with these notions, and “Bad Idea” stands out for its explosive brevity.

The Paranoyds have been working out these songs live for years, eschewing the recording process in favor of the floor of any DIY space. One familiar track appears on this collection, and that’s “Heather D.”—seen here flaunting a new, shortened title of what used to be called “Heather Doubtfire”—a track that SadGirl has been known to cover live in the past. But how do you bottle up that raw sound into a 12-minute release? They’ve always been the kind of band you needed to experience live, and it’s for that reason I suspect they enlisted Greg Hartunian (SadGirl, Wild Wing, No Parents, Walter) to master and Spencer Hartling (No-Fi) to produce and record.

Anyhow, the timing of this release feels right. The Paranoyds are about to embark on a tour with DIIV that’ll send them up the east coast for a couple of weeks. They’ll have a ton of merch to take with them, including pins, tees, etc. And as of today, a new cassette via Hard Feelings.

Is our new obsession yours? Listen below.

Pick up your copy tonight at Non Plus Ultra for the ‘After You’ release party w/ Post Life and Rumblepak.

Alternatively, order online here.