Nearly 30-years of punked up fury, and Paranoid Visions are every bit as angry as they ever were. The band might be aging, but Beware of the God is a lyrically-modern punk album, playing off up-to-the-minute, cutting-edge social problems.
-Fritzls Basement’ is a perfect example, bracketed with the haunting repetition of news clippings about the aging Austrian’s twisted family life. Five minutes of poignant pop-punk lyrics about Elizabeth’s fate leave -73-year-old Fritzl, 73-year-old Fritzl’ swimming through the brain well after the album’s over. Elsewhere the recession is given a going over in both -High Cost of Living’ and -New Dark Ages’, and ‘Visions make their customary stab at the capital in -From Dublin with Love’, a track with less affection for Dublin than U2-s tax man.
Despite the inevitable barrage of dark and depressing content, musically Beware of the God is a little lighter and more tuneful than we’ve come to expect from Paranoid Visions, certainly in comparison to their vicious live shows. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: the Spanish guitars blended seamlessly into -No Sunny Day’ add much needed variety, though the spoken words – -there is no sun on my street’ – quickly negate any tinge of the upbeat.
If you believe misery loves company, however, you’ll find plenty of love here. The odd twist aside, Beware of the God is exactly what you’d expect from Paranoid Visions: ignore the modern day lyrical content and this album could have been written in the 80s, though the band have developed their own sound effectively since then. All in all, Beware of the God’s tripled-up vocals and surprisingly pertinent subject matter make it an enjoyable – if slightly aged – play on punk, though not quite as punk was intended. But it’s not going to change the world.