Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Paranormals

            Birmingham bred and Nashville re-united, The Paranormals muscle their way through riff-driven rock and roll.
            Genre classifications may box them into the category of “new rock” alongside acts such as We Are Scientists, The Caesars, Arctic Monkeys, or The Kooks; but don’t let the chronological implications of the adjective fool you, the music made by The Paranormals is timeless.
            Though only in their early twenties, each member of The Paranormals is already a performing veteran.  Heath Hendricks, bass, and Jarrod Randall, guitar, both formerly of Florence, AL’s The Evergreen Express and drummer, lead vocalist David Sutton of Birmingham’s East End Lights and various other Nashville outfits started playing music together years ago in high school.
            Now the trio perks up ears with a no-frills sound, comparable to monochromatic duos the White Stripes or Black Keys.  Breaks within the songs demand the attention of listeners while bare-bones vocals are strung along over tempo-preserving bass drum hits.   Singing in the spaces, The Paranormals have an asset the afore mentioned do not, a melodic bass line to hold down the fort while guitars and drums embellish with grit-teeth and primal pounds.
            Sutton’s voice quips the eccentricities of Modest Mouse, quick phrasing and playful inflections.  But he attributes much of the bands sound to regional band, the Drive-By Truckers.  However each member of The Paranormals contributes to the vocal spectrum; Randall and Hendricks mimicking call and answer lines creating dialog within the songs, along with “ooo” and “ahhh” harmonies.   Sutton, never short on words, provides conversational banter between songs, while the three demonstrate proficiency vocally and on their instruments with a confident chemistry.
            The Paranormals are most reminiscent of the reconfigured super band Them Crooked Vultures, featuring members of Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, and the immortal Led Zeppelin.   Harnessing both full, fuzzy tones and songwriting with more hooks than a gulf coast fishing boat, whether you’re superstitious or not, watch out for The Paranormals.