Paranoid Void Live at Shimokitazawa Flowers Loft - By Aries City

Remember those horrid informercials that the US produced in the 80s featuring men and women saying things like “I used to pound a 5th of vodka and a bump of coke every night before bed but now I’m ok” and they had trashy god-awful synths and keyboards soundtracking them.
Paranoid Void are kinda like that but good, Really bloody good. A slightly inglorious and unceremonious introduction for a genuinely wonderful band. But here’s the point, Paranoid Void put everything into their art and their art is worth your attention. Especially when they’re likely the most fun and interesting band playing anywhere in Tokyo on a Sunday night.

The audience soaked up the Osaka band’s ambience with a mix of peaceful meditation and hazy abandon, as if they were about to sink into their favorite cocaine trip, albeit without the bad parts. I have to say, with beer in hand, I was more than happy to join them.
Bassist, Yuki, is so at home on her 4 strings. It’s rare to see someone so involved with their instrument and truly enjoying their time on stage.
As she taps or slaps away it was heartwarming to see her smile almost constantly. It was also a little infuriating because she’s effortlessly impressive and cool and I need to practice more. She is well and truly the joy of the band. Mipo, like a good mother, watches her band mates almost hawkishly as she orchestrates the proceedings. It is great to have a drummer who can keep a beat, but Mipo is in pockets that the average weekend drummers have never heard of. Her deftness of hand was best exemplified on the high light of the show, ‘blind blue’, where she gave an absolute master class in off kilter grooves. Where Yuki is the joy and Mipo is the brains, guitarist Meguri is arguably the soul of the band. Brandishing a gorgeous Sienna Sunburst Telecaster, Meguri gives texture to the context and form provided.

As a guitarist, I fully understood the deep breath she took at the beginning of some songs, being the soul melody maker in a Prog band is a heavy weight to bear. That said, Meguri bore that weight with style and grace. Through her array of pedals she bends the sky with slick and sleek reverbed melodics. Even on occasion, she broke out in almost blues rock dashes. It was easy to get lost in her glow.

Math Rock has become somewhat old hat for many. In Japan, bands like Toe, tricot and Lite have arguably already mined the depths of expensive riffs and syncopated rhythms, but I genuinely found myself unable to predict at times where Paranoid Void’s songs were going. That is to say, from time to time, there is fresh delight to be found in being lost.

For fans of: Elephant Gun Gym, Toe, Tricot, cotoba, Lite, Zazen Boys

Written by: Aries City @ariescityart