Paranoid Visions – Escape From the Austerity Complex (Overground Records)

Haunting start – I sit here typing this review in to a computer nearly 30 years after seeing Paranoid Visions for the first time.  It’s a debut I will never forget.  My journey started at the bus stop with my bro who was the instigator of most of my punk rock education.  As we stood waiting for a bus to bring us in to the Ivy Rooms on Dublins Parnell Street a cyclist kept going past complete with baseball bat in hand.  He didn’t need his hands for the steering wheel it was to make sure his intended victim was going to meet their designated fate.  It didn’t get any less menacing when i entered the ivy rooms as an underage punker.  Dublin was a a scary place, Parnell Street was its breeding ground. Some concerned parents were marching against drugs, others were trying to keep their kids away from those mean streets.


And so my Paranoid Vision journey still continues.  This album could captures that feeling all those years ago.  It is at parts frightening, at times energising and also at times confusing.  The visions have done so much to assist the punk rock community in Ireland.  My first band, formed soon after seeing them play, rehearsed in the same space because we asked Deko and PA where should we practice.They brought us to many gigs and we travelled together on many journeys. As someone who has felt like an outsider at times in punk rock I was always welcomed into the visions family. After a while I got involved in putting on gigs myself, and for a brief time became the person who would get the venues as Paranoid Visions were banned from them.  That didn’t last too long as the trend in Ireland was to turn on fire extinguishers or break toilet cisterns(if not try to break people) and gigs were scary at times.  Deko’s presence  on stage always had that violent edge as he reflected what was happening in his city.  They faded as a band when the Celtic Tiger was kicking off which probaby makes sense.  They are a band of the city, very much depicting Ireland as it is.  When recession kicked back in it seems only right that the Visions crawled out of whatever gutter they were keeping warm and spat their vitriol once more.

This is their fifth album since 40 shades of ganggreen sheparded in their return in 2007 and it is their best work since those days of the 80’s in the ivy rooms. I’m sitting here listening and can still see bodies flying through the air as Deko screamed about the system failing us, the difference is that the fire extinguishers generally stay on the walls and that leaks aren’t coming in from broken cisterns.

Winner – Outsider Artist with TV Smith guesting

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