Paradise 9 have been around in one form or another for over a decade, originally formed by guitarist Gregg McKella under the name ‘Flowers from a Strange Land’ way back in 1998 and releasing their debut album, Showtime, the following year. The original band split in 2002, a revised line-up reformed in 2005 and they’ve continued ever since, picking up new members along the way (including Alternative TV’s Tyrone Thomas on lead guitar) and enjoying a spot opening for Nik Turner’s Inner City Unit at last year’s ICU gig at the Inn On The Green. McKella had previously guested with ICU when they reformed in 2007 and has also worked with long time Damned/Dr Spacetoad keyboardist Monty Oxymoron.
This four-track EP hopefully sets the current well on the road to a full LP, with further tracks already recorded Gregg tells me. Judging from the contents of Nothing For Tomorrow it’ll be well-worth waiting for because what they’ve got here is an excellent starting-point in the quest to bring their feisty punk-space rock to a wider audience. There’s bags of righteous attitude going on in the title track, a cracking diatribe about modern greed which sharply sets up this excellent taster of what the band are all about. They move the pace right down from the spiky opener to the lazily rolling ‘Crystalized Moments’, a gorgeously realised trance and drifting romantic soundtrack still delivered with a vocal edge and some lovely guitar.
‘Broken Promises’ is something of a ‘what if’ scenario... what if the Levellers played spacerock? (The band themselves make a comparison to New Model Army for this one so I’m hearing it in a similar way I think!). Again though, it’s smart and acute stuff with a good line in melody that’s a key element of the Paradise 9 sound – it’s always engaging and just highly listenable. They play out the EP with the eleven-minute ‘Points of View’, another terrific psychedelic-punk collision that has something of the extended Hawkwind improvisation about it, driven on by some really focused yet swinging drumming. They’ll have this CD available from MyChoonz and CDBaby as well as iTunes and Amazon downloads (I notice their first album is also available as an Amazon MP3 download).
Paradise9 are Gregg McKella ( vox / guitar / gliss / clarinet / fx), Carl Sampson (drums / backing vox), Neil Matthars (bass), Tyrone Thomas (lead guitar), and Steve Teers (jembe / keyboards and backing vox), with guest backing vocalist Jeanette Murphy. They play the Sonic World Festival at Lumb Farm in Ripley, Derbyshire on the 5th of September and in the meantime their EP is highly recommended.
Paradise 9 Myspace Page
Paradise 9 at CD Baby