Once upon a time, music heads enthusiastically packed like sardines into The Echo to rock out to Sunflower Bean’s first Los Angeles show in support of their debut album. Eleven months later, the same venue hosted a likewise vibe for the band that opened the aforementioned show: The Paranoyds.

Over the past year, the “dong gaze” has electrified the hippest DIY spaces and local festivals as well as shared the stage with the likes of DIIV, Girlpool, Sadgirl and Kim and the Created, so their headlining turn felt like both a homecoming and a feverishly-anticipated next step come to fruition. The Paranoyds opened the official release show for their latest and greatest EP “Eat Their Own” in fittingly twisted fashion by teasing a singalong to Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’.”

Illuminated by a backdrop of VHScore visuals, The Paranoyds raucously conjured and rearranged post-punk, garage, surf, psych and Phil Spector into something fresh and fierce. In response, what felt like the entirety of the packed, energized room jumped, pushed and sang along in a zero-fucks-given moshpit against the hardcore fans that staked out spots in the front for the entire evening.

Some bands take the audience back to another time, while others venture towards the future. The Paranoyds’ transportive power, however, sidesteps the fourth dimension and aims for the surreal allure of an alternate reality that’s equal parts CBGB, DIY and horror flick. In other words, every show feels like an experience, with their headlining turn at The Echo raising an already elevated bar.

L.A. Drones, French Vanilla and Egrets on Ergot all rocked the saxophone in support.

Consume “Eat Their Own” on Bandcamp right meow.

The Paranoyds

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Egrets on Ergot

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French Vanilla

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L.A. Drones

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Words and photos by Frank Mojica.