In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “A great album that can stand tall against anything else in the ‘Gurge catalogue.”
Charting Regurgitator’s discography to this point, Tu-Plang was the audacious debut. Three young dudes who didn’t know the rules they were breaking with their punk, hip hop, alt, indie audacity. Unit was a massive risk, giving us an 80s pop album with a 90s alternative twist none of us knew we wanted. …art and Eduardo and Rodriguez Wage War on T-Wrecks was a band with experience and confidence, and a sound that we were all now familiar with. Mish Mash was a mid life crisis gimmick that holds up a lot better today than its gimmicky origins should let it.
Now, we get to Love and Paranoia, when Regurgitator became elder statesman of alt-Oz rock. The kind of band with enough years and records behind them that have earned so much good will with me, all I need is a new album every few years that might not blow me away, but makes me happy that they’re still making music.
While even from their earliest releases Regurgitator were never scared to mix their punk attitude with a little electronic pop, Love and Paranoia might be their most extreme in that direction, apart from their seminal breakthrough, Unit. On the surface, Blood and Spunk is guitar driven, punk attitude, but the digital polish is unashamedly obvious on every note. Next up, Drinking Beer is Awesome is the exact mix of pop simplicity, rock guts and 80s sounds that was the backbone of Unit.
Sticking with the 80s inspiration, but a different version of the 80s, Romance of the Damned is a new wave ballad duet with an overt sincerity that needs a little pop cheese if its going to be tolerable. While the studio might be purely digital, Love and Paranoia is one of the band’s most pure guitar records. Hurricane, Destroy This Town and Psychic Dirt layer on plenty of electronic flourishes, but they’re all centered on rocking riffs and crunching chords. In fact, this is the only Regurgitator album to this point without a single track that could be regarded as rap or hip hop.
Saying that all I need from Regurgitator is a new album every few years that might not blow me away, but makes me happy that they’re still making music, probably sounds like damning with faint praise. Or adding a disclaimer to any recommendations or praise I might give Love and Paranoia. But here’s the thing, I think Love and Paranoia is a great album that can stand tall against anything else in the ‘Gurge catalogue. But when any catalogue gets this deep and stays this consistent, all those high water marks just become the standard. So when I’m this spoilt for quality, even something great ends up not blowing me away, but it makes me happy that they’re still making music.