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PAUL LIDEL'S SCREAM THERAPY Paul Lidel's Scream Theory

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Sunday, December 10, 2023 @ 11:29 AM


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PAUL LIDEL'S SCREAM THERAPY
Paul Lidel's Scream Theory
Perris Records - 2023
http://www.paullidellsscreamtherapy.com




Best known for his work with both DANGEROUS TOYS and DIRTY LOOKS, guitarist PAUL LIDEL steps to the forefront with his solo project and self-titled album Paul Lidel's Scream Therapy.

Writing all the songs and producing the album alongside singing and playing the guitar, Lidel leaves no doubt that this is HIS project. Recruiting guitarist Lee Young, bassist Joe Giordino and drummer Frank Friege, the album is chock full of what the promotional hype terms "aggressive and instantly memorable songs about insanity, murder and the destruction of the human race".

And I have to say, that isn't just some promotional verbiage to promote the CD. I mean when you have a song like "Run" which is about the 1966 University of Texas at Austin tower shooting you've definitely hit upon the themes of insanity and murder for sure. As for the end of the human race, at least the Scream Therapy album lets us go out with some incredible hard rocking yet catchy music, right?

The album's title track is the first song I heard from the release when I saw the video on YouTube. This would be after I ran into PAUL LIDEL at a DANGEROUS TOYS concert and ended up trading info with him in order to review the album. The title song grips you from the start, kicking off with a blow your doors off scream before quickly heading into the rest of this amped up to 10 hard-driving rocker. It's a sonic explosion of both fiery and melodically driven rock and roll from start to finish.

And yet, I think the album gets even better along the way.

I mentioned the song "Run" already and it is a killer track. Not just because of how it delves into the shooting incident but the way the song is crafted to surround the story with a musical score that helps amplify matters. The guitar intro is fantastic and there is a more measured tempo during the song's main lyrical passages. A more aggressive feel comes into play for the chorus which actually makes the pacing feel like what the song's title is imploring people to do. Songs like "Burning Bridges", "That Bullet" and "Thick of Things" are all hard-edged rockers featuring some great guitar work and I was pretty pleased with how the backing vocals during each song's chorus is used to enhance the song's sonic depth. The solo on "That Bullet" was pretty noteworthy for me.

Of course, to offset all the more high energy tracks, the band does shift gears for other songs. While "Jagged Edge" still maintains more of an uptempo pace, the foot is taken off the gas pedal a bit to give the song a bit more room to breathe.

The song "Wake Up Call" had everything going for it. It was lightning fast yet still had a heavier tone mixed in there as well. It's another instant ear grabber. But what ended up giving me some pause with this particular track was the use of electronically altered voiceover drop-ins. It only happened two or three times during the song but it just didn't work for me.

That minor criticism is offset by songs like "Ghosts of Yesterday" and "Stir Crazy" though. Both are crackling with energy and I really liked the vibe conveyed in "Ghosts of Yesterday" a LOT!

The album closing "Silence Never Lies" lets the album reach a tremendous crescendo with its full throttle soundtrack including a killer guitar solo.

All that said, my favorite two tracks on the album not only showcase the band as a whole but I liked how they also spotlighted how entertaining PAUL LIDEL can be as a lead vocalist. On "Rabbit Hole", the song's fast paced delivery is given an even more razor sharp focus with a vocal track that rips your throat out.

But the song "Alibi" is where things really shined brightest for me. Ignoring the brief digitized spoken word intro, when the music bursts forth from the speakers, you are rocked back by the intensity of the performance. But it's the way the vocals are dripping with venom that really warmed me up the song. The chorus line of "I've got a shovel, a gun and an alibi" is a testosterone-fueled caustic warning to simply not screw around with the viewpoint "character" Lidel inhabits during his vocal track. It's an all-out great song that ties everything together for me as a whole.

This may not be the 1980s anymore and the Paul Lidel's Scream Therapy album was admittedly not on my radar before I ran into him and our conversation led to the album download link being sent to me. But that random meet-up sure turned out well for my ears because this album is just a flat out great collection of songs that will leave listeners gorging on all that it has to offer. It is a smorgasbord of high energy rock and roll and sure had me reaching for the repeat button over and over again!

4.7 Out Of 5.0


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