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Sept. 15 - 22, 2000

[Music Reviews]

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*** Paranoise



If Led Zeppelin had chosen to turn "Kashmir" into a career -- and smartened up their lyrics considerably -- they might have sounded like this Hartford-based outfit. The usual rock foundation of bass, drums, and guitars is joined by harmonium, violins, didgeridoo, dulcimer, and other instruments, including the voice of Noam Chomsky as he lectures about the campaign of economic totalitarianism being waged by the rich and powerful, who seek to preserve a class of "desperate absolute poor who further depress wages and serve as a useful object of resentment by those who are just above them."

Ever mindful of the chasms of wealth and justice, Paranoise often chants his lyrics in muezzin-like lines. And bandleader Jim Matus sees this music -- even at its most metallic and bone-crushing -- as a "model for interaction with Third World indigenous people." It all amounts to a fascinating cross-cultural stew, a hard-edged and open-minded musical jihad aimed at slaying those who would divide the world's population with the slash of a violin bow and the thrust of a guitar neck. Real revolution rock like this is a rarity. (Order from Ancient Records at 555 Asylum Street, Studio 402, Hartford, Connecticut 06105.)

-- Ted Drozdowski
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