Cryptic Cross Words is the 5th album that Paranoid Visions have released since their 2006 reboot. Add to this the multitude of singles and a myriad of historical re-releases and compilations and it becomes clear that Paranoid Visions are a band who are not content to sit back and relax or attempt to trade on past glories. Indeed founder members Deko and P.A are of the opinion that there are no past glories with the recent releases being more reflective of what the band were about in the first place. Cryptic Cross Words, a culmination of a year’s recording and writing is an attempt to craft a specific album with a specific modus operandi.
“With every release we have done, there has always been a compromise, and certain styles or genres we have wanted to explore have been almost achieved, but not executed the way we imagined them … until now”.
Switching rhythm section and losing a backing vocalist in early 2014 gave the band the opportunity to form the perfect line-up and create what the band believe is best album they have ever made. It’s certainly a more focussed and strategic release that relies on soundscapes and moods that co-exist with the various musical genres the band continues to dip into. But it explores these cohesively with production that has been described by one early reviewer as being “crisp but avoids the sheen of the nu”. Certainly this album owes as much to UK Decay as it does to UK Subs, or is “more magazine than fanzine”.
Lyrically the album is tackling different subjects ranging from the Catholic church’s abuse of children, invasion in the Ukraine, sexual harmony, working culture and the voice of the downtrodden public on the verge of snapping. In the case of Anagram Sam the lyrics consist entirely of anagrams (Anagram Sam, he’s one of those NAMELESS SALESMEN, his LIFE is a FILE of anagrams, he’s the SENATOR for TREASON etc etc….you get the picture!!) whilst the album’s closer, “baNAMA Republic” is a delicate slow building acoustic song spanning seven minutes and sung by Aoife Destruction detailing the fall of the Irish economy and the corruption that facilitated it.
The LP version comes in aesthetically beautiful white vinyl LP with free CD and 16-page booklet which includes a real cryptic cross word and word search on the sleeve (hint…the answers may all be song titles!)