Live Review: The Paranormals

by | May 1, 2012 | Concerts & Festivals, Reviews

Where: at The 5 Spot –  Nashville, TN

When: March 11

Highlight: A power trio that didn’t skimp on the power.

The term “power trio” covers a wide swath of three-piece bands, but its most basic, guitar-bass-drum, fuzzy-toned and hard-hitting version was on glorious display on a Sunday night in East Nashville. The Paranormals, a Nashville by way of Birmingham band of young but seasoned players, brought a level of confidence not often seen in a newly formed group, but this swagger is justified. Their songs are, quite plainly, great. Heavy on groove, with catchy riffs and choruses that latch on to the brain stem, these are tunes that can get a room moving, even in normally reticent Music City.

The seven-song set opened with the punchy “Whiskey and Cigarettes” and settled in with “Figure it Out,” a standout for drummer/lead singer David Sutton, whose unique phrasing make it one of their best. Not to be outdone, guitarist Jarrod Randall and bassist Heath Hendrick traded distortion-laden riffs on “You Gotta Go,” bringing to mind the best that The Black Keys and Drive-By Truckers have to offer.

After cruising through “Balls” and “See Ya 5 and a Baby,” the band showed their sense of dynamics by slowing down for the intricately picked “Burns On and On” before finishing strong and sweaty with “Oneonta.” The Paranormals have it all: the tunes, the chops, and that rare quality that separates a great rock band from a good one. As the bumper sticker says, “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.” The Paranormals can. And on this Sunday night, they did.

Photos by Lacey Criss