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“Paranoia” by Count Pariah

Instrumentation matters more in rock music than it does in any other genre, and this is exemplified quite wonderfully in the new single “Paranoia” by Count Pariah. Although melodically sound and not necessarily built on the back of brawn alone, “Paranoia” has a certain hedonistic side that falls in line with the classics that built this style of music into what it is today – and, perhaps even more importantly, what it was at the height of its influence over pop. Thanks to technical prowess on the part of this band, we’re reminded of what made rock so sexy in the first place.

There are definitely some heavy metal themes with regard to the cosmetics of the music here, but that’s really where the influence ends. There’s nothing overtly indulgent about the hook in “Paranoia,” but you can tell that the band wasn’t trying to be skimpy with their instrumental foundations in the song, either. There’s something really special about the way they’re investing their souls into the music as if they’ve got everything on the line in this performance, and yet there’s not a singular moment that feels pressurized as a result of what the band is trying to accomplish.

The music video for “Paranoia” is a mind-bending venture for sure, and I love that it doesn’t try to front with a lot of external themes I would just as soon expect out of a standard pop visualizer. Count Pariah seems pretty intent on getting us right into the guts of their music without a lot of prerequisite conversation beforehand, and when looking at what the rest of their peers have been doing in the past few months, theirs is a straightforwardness I really wish I could get a lot more of across the underground as it stands today.

These lyrics look unabashedly inward rather than presenting us with a commentary from the band, and I like that these guys are able to stick to their emotions as well as they are here. Too many of rock’s most interesting outfits are avoiding wearing it all on their sleeve for some perceived sense of righteousness, but there’s nothing of the sort transpiring here – truth be told, it’s the exact opposite. There’s no stifling the word of this act, and we’re made aware of that inside of the track’s first minute or so.

Harmony might be what makes this single unique next to its competition, but there’s a lot more to unearth about Count Pariah right now – starting with what they’re going to do in their next release. “Paranoia” lives up to its title as a music video, but I get the feeling these guys are anything but nervous about their future together as a group. There’s a lot of swagger just waiting to come undone in this piece, and hopefully the next time they get into the studio to make something fresh, they’re going to tap into the confidence for what could be their most meaningful performance thus far – if not ever.

Mindy McCall



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