“Releasing your debut album just before the whole world went into shutdown wasn’t the best start to the band’s existence” admits We’re All Aliens frontman and lyricist Jim ‘JJ’ Johnson. “Our whole strategy for promotion just went out of the window.” It’s been a challenging couple of years for JJ and his hard rock crew since their 2020 debut album Get A Life, however they have managed to galvanise themselves, regroup and produce a new single of poise and power.
Paranoia Club is the latest release from the rock outfit and the seismic punch has been upped; heroic hooks, industrial shred guitars, and JJ’s soaring vocals all feature throughout the lightning 3 minutes runtime.
Rick’s trademark guitar roar launches us into escape velocity as he seemingly manipulates the dense field of gravity surrounding him, bending it to his will with blinding riffs and power-pose guitar licks. It’s a rush of adrenalin, a rush that you can feel with every sinew, every pulse, creating the perfect backdrop to JJ’s impassioned vocals.
Paranoia Club encapsulates the dedication and commitment to the hard rock genre that has seen the band described as “Velvet Revolver meets Alter Bridge”.
But there’s something else stirring in this rip roaring return which has elements of Bon Scott era ACDC and no little hint of the Pistols and Clash about it. Lyrically it’s straight out of the Joe Strummer playbook pointing the finger at the dog whistle politicians who prey on the most vulnerable in society, manipulating for their own ends.
With its references to Orson Welles and the Graham Greene Cold War thriller ‘The Third Man’, Paranoia Club is rock’n’roll psychosis set against a film noir back drop thanks in the main to tricks and licks of guitarist Rik ‘Biff’ Loughran and the pumping engine room of drummer Adi B and bass player Big Larry Baruqc.
Their debut album was well received by those who heard it, thanks in part to the title track Get A Life, the barnstorming Rosa Lee and the power ballad Second Chances. Amassing 150,000 streams on Spotify as well as airplay on Planet Rock, Kerrang! and BBC Introducing, they attracted an enthusiastic and loyal following from the alt-rock underground.
JJ is acutely aware of this, “We’re certainly going to test that loyalty after being away for such a long time,” he ponders. “The lockdown destroyed any live momentum we’d developed and once the world reopened we found ourselves at the back of a queue for gigs headed up by the world’s biggest artists.”
“Add to that the lack of furlough support for our entire industry and a cost of living crisis threatening the entire grass roots venue circuit, and you can see what bands at our level playing loud guitar music are up against.”
The world needs We’re All Aliens more than ever and this is a brilliant return, building excitement and anticipation for a new album. 2023 could belong to the rock quartet and we’re all on board for it.
Paranoia Club is available now from the We’re All Aliens Bandcamp page.