Paranoid new EP ‘Playground’ delivers 90s-inspired rock [review]

Paranoid 'Playground' cover art

Paranoid released their new EP, entitled Playground, late last month. Though their lyrics are in English, the French trio is still based in Lille. Playground features Matthew Bush on vocals and guitar – both of which are drenched in a driving 90s rock style. Nicolas Deleporte and Matthieu Karolewicz hold down bass and drums respectively, creating a cohesive and tumbling sound. Paranoid formed in 2006, though the current lineup did not materialize until 2010. Upon hearing Paranoid, it seems clear that a decade of working together has paid off.

Paranoid takes us back

Playground opens with sparse guitar notes and a distant voice in the title track. Before long, however, the tune picks up speed and density. Listener’s heads will start to move with the beat as the ragged rock track continues. Easily digestible, “Playground” takes audiences back a couple decades. This mood continues in “Till the Morning After,” which incorporates the fast-paced, yet slightly emo at heart, lyrics one would expect from this genre. This second track sets off running from the gate and does not let up throughout. Here, bobbing is likely to turn toward headbanging. While neither of these opening tunes feels particularly original, they are entertaining and well executed.

As audiences move on to track three, the mood shifts slightly. The intro here is smooth and heavier than the first two tracks. Paranoid remains firmly planted in their genre with “Skeleton Key,” while growing a bit darker and more weighted. The end of this track blends directly into the start of “Barbed Wire.” The most irregular work on Playground, this fourth track aggressively pulls listeners along. The strongest track on the album, it alternates between raging instrumentals and wrung out vocals.

Paranoid wraps up Playground with “Lynn & Her Northern Dark Mountains.” This final track solidifies a sense that the whole record is a running conversation, evolving as it unfolds. Listeners looking for some solid rock are likely to enjoy Playground. Though the band may struggle to differentiate themselves from acts gone by, their work is accessible and enjoyable.

Paranoid new EP ‘Playground’ delivers 90s-inspired rock [review]
  • Paranoid released their new EP, ‘Playground,’ late last month. This French trio delivers 90s inspired rock in an accessible package.
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