|Album Review: Paris Texas—Red Hand Akimbo|
Red Hand Akimbo
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After the unpolished scuzz-rap sneak attack that was L.A. crew Paris Texas’ debut album BOY ANONYMOUS earlier this year, the group has been in heavy circulation in the poorly ventilated bedrooms of some of the internet’s most revered hype-whelks. Smoking on the heels of that release and ready to capitalise on this fresh exposure comes a new EP, Red Hand Akimbo, and it picks up the canon from the album effortlessly while introducing new themes and elements likely to be explored in greater depth as the saga continues. At this rate, Paris Texas are all but guaranteed their own station on GTA 6 and a couple of controversial Fallon performances.
The 4-track EP kicks off in all senses with “Dr. Aco’s Miracle Bullets”, a goofy but endearing joke, also a bite Dr. Acula would approve of. The group’s confidence is clearly soaring after the reception of their album, and they set out the blueprints with a cinematic flourish. The guitars are more distorted and visceral, the beats are looking to headbutt something and the drops feel like just that: a sheer vertical drop. Louie Pastel unceremoniously gets to the point out the gate.
“N****s can't tell if it's rock
Can't tell if it's rap, I walk in between
Fuck who you think did it first
I'm doin' it right, I'm living a dream
Bitch, get off of my phone
I'm busy at work, I'm making a scene”
Both Louie and crew-mate Felix ride the track masterfully, sounding alternately poised and completely unhinged. The ad-libs give the track an extra layer of madness, Paris Texas eschewing the standard of gun, car or phone sounds and peppering the song with yelps and screams from the depths of the void. “girls like drugs” has a dubious song title, especially in the post-Cosby era and the pre- one as well, as well as being an outrageous generalisation, but it does employ more crunching guitar stabs and bass thuds on the path to righteousness. I would be remiss not to mention Louie’s scathing riposte, “You got a brand new crib off of OnlyFans, that n**** rap but his homies are his only fans.”
“RHM” cools the jets as the group steers more towards the New Wave lane, where I see Paris Texas reaching peak Art status. In taking a previously obsolete style which has had a recent resurgence and gently dipping the rap bag in before disposing of it with due diligence, the group has hit a creative zenith which warrants a spin-off project as a minimum. The guitar line sounds like it could have come from a Manchester art college in the early 80s, and the yearning vocals serve as a tribute to the confusing nature of love, ultimately concluding that friends are more important than anything, which is nice.
The EP closes out with “BULLSEYE”, which manages to combine the most effective elements of all previous tracks for a mammoth blowout. The angular post-punk beat and driving bass allow Felix and Louie to rage on the verses and display melodic vulnerability on the hook, ruminating on their lives and their crafts, arriving at the damning verdict “Somethin' 'bout a bad little thot, can't resist, somеthin' 'bout these sad little thoughts, can't resist”. And something about Paris Texas’ music seems to have captured a zeitgeist, showing that there are plenty of untapped musical gems from the past which could be given a modern reboot to keep current music fresh and innovative. It’s a confusing cycle, but the quality of the music rises above it all. Stream the Red Hand Akimbo EP above and get all up in the links below, these two are going places kid.