Damian reckons he’s found the punk album of the year

As legend would have it in 1979. A 13 year old punk kid called Peter in Dublin is reading the response from a letter he had sent to the biggest punk band on the planet, Crass. The letter, signed by Steve Ignorant answers questions and includes badges, leaflets and bizarrely enough, a recipe for bread. It proved to the teenager that Crass were indeed the real deal, that they are ordinary approachable and accessible. A couple of years later himself and like-minded Crass fanatic vocalist Deko Dachau founded the now legendary and seminal punk rock band Paranoid Visions and indeed they got together with Steve and released an album together called When in 2013.

New release Now And Then is the second offering from this collaboration.

“Look Mummy, Clowns” opens the album and as an irony of life, clowns seem to be prominent in the news at present. The song I feel is a statement of the greed that had hold of Ireland during the Celtic Tiger phase. Deko`s tone is compelling, while Mr Ignorant chips lines in throughout and Aoife`s chorus lines really compliment the structure of the song. ”Loudmouth (Kick The Fucker)” is a no nonsense, two and a half minute punk rant played at one hundred miles an hour.

The band never shy away from the difficult and disturbing issues in Irish life and this is highlighted in “Strange Girl (2016)” written about the case of Ann Lovett, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Granard, County Longford who died giving birth beside a grotto on 31 January 1984. Her baby son died at the same time and the story of her death played a huge part in a seminal national debate in the country at the time on women giving birth outside marriage

“Something More” is another in your face speed punk anthem about the inequality of life, that people are starving, while we are still amassing nuclear bombs.

The reggae tinged track “Fan The Flames” is a dark, bleak outlook on life, where civilisation is on the brink. As a sort of yang, to the previous yin, “Where is Love” is a vibrant, upbeat melody with a positive message stating that there is hope although all isn’t well with humanity.

The lyrics of “Bleak Town Revisited” are pretty grim with the narrator seeming to want away from the endless darkness and depression, the sentiment is shared over a Gang of Fourish type quirky rock refrain.

“Art and Craft” is a reflection on the fraternal organisation of Freemasonry and how it allegedly seeps through all levels of society, from the Police to the judicial system.

A short rant on not putting up with what people are trying to tell you what to do comes in the guise of “No More Running” and is accompanied by a wonderfully catchy tune.

The albums ends with “War” and anti war song presented over a cracking reggae tune.

It would be wrong of me not to praise the powerhouse of musicians that keep this album on track P.A.Y.E. (guitar), Danarchy (guitar), T J Ora (bass), Jay Suss Christ (drums) and Steo pain with samples.

This is a really eclectically diverse album which blends together the differing styles of music and the diverse range of vocals of Deko Dachau, Steve Ignorant and Aoife Destruction. The album gives them a platform individually and as a collective to share their thoughts, hopes, dreams and beliefs.

This was a really enjoyable album and I thought that Steve Ignorant and Paranoid Visions really complemented each other lyrically and musically.

This must be a contender for Punk album of the year.

 Rating 8.5/10