Paranoise / X-Acto split EP

Split 7” from two synth-addled punk collectives. X-ACTO layers lo-fi insect synths over garage hardcore with goofy lyrics. “Smell Like Beef” sounds like a malfunctioning Speak & Spell holding its own with the punks. The chorus is “What’s that smell? I smell like beef.” Kinda gross. During the bridge on “Blastbeats,” the buzzing electronics and drums evoke the LOCUST, but not quite as heavy. For fans of RESEARCH REACTOR CORPORATION. PARANOISE’s side is, and I don’t particularly like this word, wackier. One of the first records I ever bought was a MAN OR ASTRO-MAN? 7”, and when I got it home, I played it at the wrong speed and sat there like, “What the fuck is this? It sounds like cartoons.” PARANOISE gives me the same feeling, like everything is sped up and just a little off. What I do like is the chromatic riffing they do and the relentless downbeat drumming on “Sixth Kind.” Try as hard as they might to be eggy dorks, it’s a hardcore ripper. Recommended if you thought the CONEHEADS played it a little too seriously.