The Para-medics

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other names
  • The Paramedics
located in Chicago, Illinois, United States
related artists
  • Monobody
  • Rennaisance Sound
  • Ittō
  • Loose Lips Sink Ships
  • Den
  • My Dad
  • Old Fuck
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya
  • Lifted Bells
  • Their / They’re / There
  • Luscious Duncan
  • Albatross
  • Nervous Passenger
  • The Sooper Swag Project
  • Water House
  • Teen Cult
  • Pisces at the Animal Fair
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya:
    • drums
  • Dylan Piskula:
    • guitar
  • Steve Marek:
    • bass guitar
  • Matthew Frank:
    • guitar
  • Brian Baliga:
    • bass guitar
associated labels
Photo of The Para-medics

The Para-medics was a math rock band from Chicago, formed some time in . Originally releasing music independently, they were one of the first signees of Swerp Records in

, a label specialising in the music of the

south suburbs of Chicago. The Para-medics dissolved some time around when Swerp dissolved in (see Fecking Bahamas’s retrospective on the label; archived). With the band’s dissolution, drummer Nnamdi Ogbonnaya would go on to be the drummer for, and later bass guitarist Steve Marek would go on to be a bass guitarist for, current Chicago math rock/jazz fusion outfit Monobody. Guitarist Dylan Piskula went on to join Chicago noise rock/sludge metal outfit Den as a bass guitarist, later guitarist Matthew Frank plays as part of Chicago midwest emo outfit Lifted Bells, and earlier bass guitarist Brian Baliga has done solo work under the name Luscious Duncan.

The music of The Para-medics takes after the music of their Chicago (or perhaps, “lava land”) forebears piglet; perhaps because the music is (very nearly) entirely instrumental, some sources label The Para-medics as “progressive rock” or similar, but The Para-medics are thoroughly math rock. Like the music of piglet, that of The Para-medics places equal emphasis on all three components of its standard rock instrumentation (although they would later be a four-piece, including additional guitarist Matthew Frank): drumkit, guitar, and bass guitar. They feature many of the mainstays of the math rock genre, including complex song structures, agile (and often tapped) bass guitar and guitar riffing, and oddball rhythms. Their music is also highly dynamic, alternating between busy mid-tempo sections, sparse and quiet sections, aggressive hardcore punk riffing, and even partly improvised “freakout” sections. Unfortunately, their music suffers just a bit from the poor production; however, check out “Patsy Cline Gun Squid” and later releases for some production that is improved over “Switch It On Em!!!”.

notes on the distributions

The information on the first two releases (“The Para-medics” and “Switch It On Em!!!”) is scarce and dubious. “Burkina Faso (We Can Dance)” showed up at some point on their bandcamp page, and the release date there is also used here. However, the other two tracks only seem to appear on their MySpace page (archived). Also, the cover art used here for “Switch It On Em!!!” appears to have been used for “The Para-medics” (listed as “The Para-medics EP” on their bandcamp). Most sources list the release date of “Switch It On Em!!!” as (as it was listed on their bandcamp), but the band apparently had only formed by — this date is presumably a joke. MusicBrainz lists the release date as , which makes more sense, and also agrees with their MySpace page, so that is the date used here.

The Para-medics discography
title The Para-medics Switch It On Em!!! Patsy Cline Gun Squid DOGGY TREATS [V/A] This One's Eight
cover art
cover art for “Switch It On Em!!!”
cover art for “Patsy Cline Gun Squid”
cover art for “DOGGY TREATS”
cover art for “[V/A] This One's Eight”
other art
1 Nevermind, no ones home...
2 Burkina Faso (We Can Dance)
3 Delerium Tremens
total duration
1 Slaying Mantis
2 Tropical Caterpillar
3 Mosquito Pope
total duration
1 Dukakis
2 Slaying Mantis
3 Tropical Caterpillar
4 40 Million Gold Rings
5 Mosquito Pope
total duration
1 I'll Give You Four Quarters For a Dahmer
2 Pork Sword
total duration
1 Axes — Junior
2 Grand Beach — Because Of Neil
3 The Bulletproof Tiger — Franko Spanko's Greatest Hit
4 Vasudeva — Stop Making Yourself Miserable
5 Their / They're / There — New Blood
6 Orchards — Chemystery
7 A.M. Overcast — Figure It Outwards
8 Fish Tank — Friends
9 halfsleep — Opaque
10 Trojan Horse — Jurapsyche Park
11 AKDK — Battersea
12 John — Big Game Tactics
13 Shambles In A Husk — The Towie Effect
14 Fearless Leader — Let's Say Hello with Violence
15 The Para-medics — Ted Nugent's Fuck Jenga
16 Postmadonna — Cater to the Slackers
17 Valerian Swing — Cancer Minor
18 Talons — The Wild Places
19 Vasa — Not A Cop
20 Polymath — Castrovalva
21 Father Figure — March of the Rare Bird
22 Usurp, Rise — Proceed to Retrogress
23 Jean Jean — Wonderbras
24 Mimas — Don't Be Evil
25 Olympians — Brunch Cannon
26 Memory Map — The Celebrated Summer
27 Dad Rocks! — Daughter Track
28 Noyo Mathis — Torn In Two
29 Slim Charles — GPS
30 Waking Aida — Your Tiny Voice Is Booming
31 Alright The Captain — HBT
32 Vasquez — Thumbmusic
33 Constant Waves — (I've Got Your Mum In A...) Headlock
34 Ishmael — Primal Etiquette
35 King Capisce — Shake the Dust
36 Giraffes? Giraffes! — In The Middle Of The Night Someone Tore Off The Ceiling And Sucked Me Into The Sky / Before My Eyes Began To Boil I Saw Billions Of Tiny Webs Connecting Everything
total duration
distributions None! Do you have one?
dspr? format source gratis? URLs
yes MP3 @ 320kb/s (CBR) bandcamp yes
dspr? format source gratis? URLs
yes MP3 @ 248kb/s (VBR) Swerp Records yes
dspr? format source gratis? URLs
no FLAC @ 44.1kHz & 16bit bandcamp pay what you want
dspr? format source gratis? URLs
no FLAC @ 44.1kHz & 24bit bandcamp no