Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Discovery: Paradise


Here they were, right under my nose in Portland OR where I live, though I hadn't heard of Paradise until our leader here at WYMA, John Hyland, alerted me.

Things you need to know about Paradise:
  • They prominently use a farfisa organ, a vastly underrated rock'n'roll instrument. Said farfisa organ is played by a very stylish female named Tamar Paradise. We like this a great deal.
  • They are a fashion-forward bunch, and their videos, graphic design and even their fans look terrific. We think this is good - we are tired of sloppy-looking, unfit guys in old flannel shirts.
  • They all use the last name Paradise, which is not all they have in common with The Ramones: Steve Paradise (lead vocals and guitars, and really great guitar at that), Dominic Paradise (bass - heavy/aggressive; vocals), Brian Paradise (drums, tears it up), Tamar Paradise (farfisa, vocals).
  • However, and this is very important, don't let the names, sharp clothes, and high concept accoutrements fool you - Paradise absolutely rock. And not in a careful, high fashion way - they rock like Iggy Pop rocks, with abandon, and a gritty, rough and tumble, garage punk sound. 
  • While he might not look like it, Steve Paradise is a badass. So is Dominic Paradise, though he looks the part too.  
  • One or more of them originally hail from Cleveland. That makes for very good rock genes. Ian Hunter was right. 
  • Their debut LP Diary of An Old Soul is a stunningly perfect 8 song, 30 minute, Nuggets-inspired joyride of psychedelic / garage rock / punk rock heaven.
Enough build up, here they are with the title track "Diary of An Old Soul":

That point at the 1:17 mark when they throw it into high gear is one of my favorite musical moments in quite awhile.

Here's "Humans and Stars" (and what's up with the fans here - real fans, actual people, or did they bring in a bunch of models? though hey, whatever, we're fine with the whole thing):

While the Nuggets influences are prevalent, this record is hardly a strict '60's throw back, and owes just as much to punk and post-punk bands like The Ramones and Nirvana, and more than anything, Paradise's own, bold, 2013-sounding take on the last 40 years of rock'n'roll.  What I like best about Diary of An Old Soul is how much of a true and defined sound it has start to finish - Paradise has an unusually clear sense of what they are trying to accomplish sonically. Actually the band this reminds me most of is a similarly farfisa-heavy 80's band out of Boston, The Lyres (note to Paradise: you should work up a cover of "Help You Ann" for your live shows).

This is great stuff and my favorite find of the new year.

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