Split

Critically acclaimed and sorely missed, EGGS and PITCHBLENDE were at the forefront of a wave of early 90s indie bands that played as much with their hearts as they did with their brains. Precursors to the smart-pop and math-rock aesthetes, respectively, this record still bestows an aura of simplicity, honesty, and dedication to the idea that good ideas were meant to be fucked with. (Also available as part of Jade Tree’s retrospective CD, The First Five Years (JT1050)

Eggs:
Andrew Beaujon: Vocals, Guitar
Rob Christiansen: Guitar
Jane Buscher: Bass
Ben Currier: Drums

Pitchblende:
Treiops Treyfid: Vocals, Guitar
Justin Chearno: Guitar, Vocals
Scott DeSimon: Bass, Vocals
Patrick Gough: Drums, Vocals

Eggs Recorded September 1994
Pitchblende Recorded September 1994
Released November 1994

Eggs
1. Song With Contemporary Influences
Recorded by Ian Jones in Arlington, VA
Mastered by Michael Sarsfield at Frankford Wayne, NYC
Graphics: Treiops Treyfid

Pitchblende
1. Windshield Kiss
Recorded at SNP, MD
Engineered by Charles Bennington & Ken Olden
Mastered by Michael Sarsfield at Frankford Wayne, NYC
Graphics: Treiops Treyfid
Illustration: Jane Buscher

1. Song With Contemporary Influences
2. Windshield Kiss

Interviews: Paint It Black

In honor of this year’s Fest Punknews has teamed up with the organizers to bring you a series of ground breaking, earth shattering and otherwise mantle destroying interviews. In this selection Peter Marullos of Protagonist sits down with Dan Yemin and Andy Nelson of Paint It Black to discuss bands, babies and bifurcation.

The past couple Fest that you dudes have played, Paint It Black has certainly raised the bar for offstage performances. Playing inside of a box truck during Fest 7 and almost collapsing the dudes in Spanish Gamble’s apartment during Fest 6 were two of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Are these offstage sets planned before getting to Gainesville or are they more spontaneous?
Andy: Like that’s really the kind of question we’d answer for the Official Fest Guidebook [editors note: the Guidebook is where this interview was originally going to be published].

Dan: What we do is secret.

What bands are you looking forward to watching Fest weekend?
Dan: Punch, Hard Skin, Dear Landlord, Algernon Cadwallader, Dead To Me, Defeater, Torche, Bridge & Tunnel, Comadre, Deep Sleep, Iron Chic, Hour of the Wolf, No Friends, P.S. Eliot.

Andy: Yeah, I don’t even know where to start on this one. But I will say that I’m a little worried about the Hard Skin set — they always draw out the most violent, sketchy crowds. What’s going to happen when a gang of white power skins clash with dozens of Bomb The Music Industry! fans? Hopefully only a few people get stabbed.

As seasoned Fest veterans, you guys have been able to spend some time on the streets of Gainesville. Are there any places or restaurants that you would recommend or look forward to visiting while in town?
Dan: The outdoor bar at Common Grounds.

Andy: We’ve heard it’s pretty easy to walk into university frat houses and just take whatever you want. For those on a budget.

Any special Fest memories on and/or off-stage that stick out in your memory?
Dan: Dillinger Four at Fest 5 and 6 was really exciting, some of the greatest large scale shows I’ve seen in my life. And when Naked Raygun played I lost my fucking mind. The Ergs at Common Grounds was astounding. First time I saw The Measure was at 1982 at Fest 6 I think, and that was killer. And of course the "offstage performances" you mentioned in the first question will go down in history as some of the greatest musical experiences of our lives. I got the feeling that the Fest chain of command wasn’t too stoked about the U-Haul truck show, but you have to admit it was pretty epic.

Andy: Ted Leo/Pharmacists, The Marked Men and Armalite have been some of my favorite bands to see that Yeems didn’t already mention, I think. But that last time Avail played might have been the greatest. Honestly though, all my fondest memories are of our little, awful group of Philadelphians acting like loud jerks to the chagrin of anyone within earshot. Who can forget when we rented a Sebring convertible (the coolest car on the market, according to Motor Trend) and cruised the strip all day blaring Soulwax and Freeway? Not us, at the least! And though such shenanigans sometime end with someone getting arrested or Tony kicking us out of the Venue’s backstage during D4, these are the sort of memories we’ll cherish long after we’re all older and more irrelevant.

Do you guys have any upcoming touring plans?
Dan: Well, the word "tour" has kind of shrunk in its implications since I had a baby. We just got back from a week in the UK, and that was a stretch. We’ll be able to do weekends here and there and that will be it for quite awhile.

Andy: We’ve never been an actively touring band, though. Which I think is why our trips to The Fest have always been such a cool, affirming kind of get together with our most kindred of spirits and our sets a nice annual opportunity for the diehards to go crazy.

In 2009, we saw the release of two EPs, "Amnesia" on Bridge 9 Records and "Surrender" on Fat Wreck Chords. Can we expect any new releases for 2011?
Dan: We hope so. The songs are there, but the logistics of recording are a nightmare, between parenthood and Jared living in Los Angeles now. You’ll probably see a new Armalite record first. That should tell you just how slow things are running for Paint It Black right now.

This question is for Dan. So, you have played in Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Armalite, Paint It Black, you have a doctorate in psychology and have had a practice specializing in child and teen psychology. Now you are a big poppa with your first child. Seems like you have always been able to juggle many aspects of your life and continue to hold true to your lifestyle. How do you do it? What has changed with the recent addition to your family?
Dan: I just always believed that you’ve got to make time for the things that are important, which for me are family, friends, work and replenishment. The important people in my life have always been my first priority. Work has always been bifurcated, split between music and psychology, and I work for myself so I’ve always been able to manipulate my schedule to some extent, making time for almost everything (up to a point). Music, friends and family have provided most of my replenishment over the years. Being a father has really pushed me to slow everything down and make sure that I’m putting my family first, which you can’t really do if you’re away from home too much. Everything is for my daughter now, even the music. Whether we’re singing about political situations or personal stuff, it’s all about imagining a better world for her. I’m working on new 7" EP’s for all three bands, but it’s going to take awhile.

Propagandhi / Paint It Black live in Philadelphia

The Beatles. The Ramones. Minor Threat. These are bands I will never see live. They all broke up a long time ago, and some of their key members are even deceased. Until this past weekend, there was another band on my woulda-coulda-but-won’t-see wish list that was actually still together, Propagandhi. Propagandhi spent the last 150 years (well, it’s actually like eight?°¦) shunning the United States, but with a new record (the OK comeback Supporting Caste), I suppose those crazy Canadians decided to conquer the States one more time. The result: a tight hardcore bill at the Trocadero featuring Philly locals Witch Hunt and Paint It Black that pretty much rocked my face from start to finish on March 14.

2009 has been a somewhat unexciting year for music so far; I haven’t been this apathetic about punk rock since high school. Up-and-comers Witch Hunt completely changed my mind, though. This co-ed quartet ripped through a tasty 30-minute set of blistering punk/hardcore in the vein of Choking Victim, Black Flag and Melvins. Oscillating from black thrash to street punk, Witch Hunt won me over with their eclectic chaos and passion. All three bands talked about scene unity that night, but Witch Hunt frontwoman Janine was the only one to take it a little further. She introduced the song “Slow Decay” with an entreaty for more open discussion about depression and addiction. Listing the pros to both therapy and simply talking to your friends, her anti-suicide/anti-abuse speech scored a round of applause from the crowd. As for the songs, they ripped and rocked. With a new record on the horizon, Witch Hunt is a crust punk band to watch in ’09.

Witch Hunt was my pleasant surprise of the night; Paint It Black was my old reliable friend. I’ve never seen them put on a bad show, and they came through yet again, although sound issues early in the set left the band sounding a little hollow. Paint It Black deals in short, fast hardcore hits, and the boon of writing 90-second songs meant that the band drew from all three of their albums well. New Lexicon shone through, with highlights including “The Ledge,” “Missionary Position,” and “Shell Game Redux.” Bassist Andy Nelson was quick with the quips while gangly yet muscled frontman Dr. Dan Yemin awkwardly tore about, frequently leaving the stage to share his mic with the crowd. It didn’t always work — The Troc was too big for the mic-less gang vox renditions of set-enders “Atticus Finch” and “Memorial Day” to be heard past the first few rows of bodies, making the band’s finale somewhat anti-climactic. But for the most part, Paint It Black kicked rump. They even debuted a new song from the band’s upcoming seven-inch. It still sounds like Paint It Black (sorry, Kid Dynamite fans), although it’s much slower and more controlled. You feel it every time drummer Jared Shavelson hits his kit. Think of the second half of Black Flag’s My War.

Then came Propagandhi.

Anticipation was heavy; there was a huge forward surge of bodies as soon as the lights cut out. One brave kid jumped from the Troc’s balcony to the stage. The band plugged in and kicked off a string of Supporting Caste cuts and?°¦proceeded to suck. Now, I’ve seen opening acts outperform headliners, but March 14 marks the first time I ever felt like the sound guy was deliberately favoring the opener over the main attraction. Witch Hunt’s sound was flawless and Paint It Black took a few seconds to congeal, but Propagandhi’s first few songs were all bass-’n-drums, burying all of those nifty guitar tricks from the band’s pseudo-recent metal direction. Whoever was manning the boards eventually got his and/or her shit together, but for those first few minutes were scary. Despite this little stumble — which didn’t seem to bother those in the pit, anyway — Propagandhi took off. Supporting Caste sounded pretty good live, especially cuts like “The Banger’s Embrace” and “Dear Coach’s Corner.” Drummer Jord Samolesky introduced the latter with a discussion about hockey, discussing how he put a curse on New York Rangers fans at the band’s previous show for being dicks. Lo and behold, my town’s very own Philadelphia Flyers trumped the Rangers 4-2 earlier that day. That, in turn, segued into a conversation about how, back in 2008, Republican Vice Presidential failure Sarah Palin visited a Flyers game on the campaign trail. The crowd was obviously booing, though close camera shots and some audio edits attempted to convince viewers at home otherwise.

Clearly, the guys had a lot to talk about since their last Philly visit.

The set list attempted to blend in aspects of each of the band’s albums — “A Speculative Fiction” from Potemkin City Limits, “Hallie Sallasse, Up Your Ass” and “Anti-Manifesto” from How to Clean Everything, and “?°¦And We Thought Nation States Were a Bad Idea” and “Apparently I’m A P.C. Facist” from Less Talk, More Rock all went over well. Today’s Empires, Tomorrow Ashes seemed to get the biggest reaction, with the crowd lapping up “Fuck the Border,” featuring Dan Yemin, and “Back to the Motor League.” Bassist Todd Kowalski teased the audience with references to “Come to the Sabbat,” the ridiculously awesome hidden track from Supporting Caste. While the band didn’t play nearly enough of the songs I wanted to hear — how could they? — I still felt generally stoked to have witnessed this rare show, regardless of the sound issues and thoroughly stinky fans. After a quick encore, the band asked concertgoers to check out some of the political literature they brought along, as well PETA’s booth (man, those folks really hate Kentucky Fried Cruelty, eh?).

With G7 gone, I hope Propagandhi can dig deep and hit up Pennsylvania a few more times. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I really, really want to meet Hannah in a VFW hall and have him scream, “My brown power ass in your white power face,” you know, in my face.

Best Hardcore Albums of 2008

What else can be said about Philly’s favorite sons that hasn’t been said in the past year? 2008 was huge for hardcore and as usual Dr. Dan Yemin was at the forefront. Kicked off be a crazy weekend in the basement of the Church, New Lexicon takes every rule in the book and breaks them into a million little pieces. From the introductory feedback of “The Ledge” to the singalong ending of “Shell Game Redux,” New Lexicon alternately kicks your face in and blows your mind. With anthematic hardcore songs, electronic segues and everything in between, this is one record sure to stay on turntables for years.

PAINT IT BLACK [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

PAINT IT BLACK – New Lexicon {Jade Tree} The third album from this Philadelphia quartet and it’s an unrelenting, unforgiving and innovative masterpiece. Most are probably familiar with PAINT IT BLACK’s brand of HC; it’s structured, vitriolic and experimental and rarely relies on flat-out thrash (although when the band does floor the accelerator, you better get outta the way!). It’s kinda like FUCKED UP meeting AVAIL with some pulverising distorted rhythms and electronic noise that only BIG BLACK has equalled (check out ?°»We Will Not’ for evidence). Dan Yemin’s vocals are bitter; spat out with a disdain that evokes Vic Bondi at his most seething. The corrosive power of PAINT IT BLACK is captured perfectly in J. Robbins’ wall-of-sound production and the whole thing is wrapped in a tres artistic sleeve. Highlights? Get real – each and every track baby! BIG contender for the greatest slab of 2008.

Paint It Black mix brawn and brains

Treading a fine line between hardcore credibility and forward-thinking nous, Philadelphia’s Paint It Black were, until recently, just another decent gang of two-minute scuzz-punk exponents.

The March release of fierce buy explorative LP New Lexicon put paid to that notion. A half-hour blast of controlled aggression led by vocalist Dan Yemin’s throaty holler, the switch in scope could, in part, be explained by personnel changes.

The impact of new guitarist Josh Agran and drummer Jared Shavelson is rivalled by production from melodic hardcore legend/Jawbow founder J Robbins, and Oktopus of New Jersey experimental hip-hoppers Dälek. Processed interludes and rap-style bottom end don’t dilute guitar attacks that are very much influenced by Minor Threat, Circle Jerks and early Black Flag.

Yemin remains Paint It Black’s focal point, his ire tempered by an intelligence you might expect from a man who is a doctor of psychology as well as a veteran of hardcore predecessors Lifetime and Kid Dynamite. What you might not glean from roars fit to rupture forehead veins is that Yemin survived a stroke in 2002, as referenced on debut album CVA.

Ultimately, this is hardcore that boasts brains and brawn. It’s a combination mirrored by Californian four-piece Trash Talk, who support on this tour, joined tomorrow by Screwed Up Flyer and The Bendal Interlude.

Tue sep 23, Le Pub, 1 Caxton Place, Newport. 8pm, £8. Tel: 01633 221477. www.paintitblack.org

Punk rock dance party — F Yeah!

The F Yeah Fest, curated by Sean Carlson and Keith Morris, might be the younger, more precocious sibling to Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction, but it has its own buoyant charm. Only at F Yeah can one watch Austin, Texas’ Best Fwends while standing next to cheery Matt Johnson of Brooklyn’s Matt and Kim, and later, mosh with Jonathan Gray of L.A.’s The Mae Shi. Although this year’s festival suffered a huge setback when a financial backer pulled out at the last minute, Carlson and the crew — now more than $15,000 in debt — decided to press on, booking a wealth of musical acts into the Echo, the "F Yeah Fest Annex" and Echoplex.

The lineup included staples of the L.A. scene like No Age, Mika Miko and Abe Vigoda, but some visiting acts turned in memorable performances. As guitarist Josh Agran strummed the first chord of the set from Philadelphia hardcore punk band Paint It Black, the audience had a choice to make: mosh and slam into one another or stand to the side to avoid being kicked in the face. The band mixed in old songs like “Election Day” with some tracks off this year’s “New Lexicon,” and bassist Andy Nelson stoked the frenzied atmosphere attempting to crowd surf. Pink Eyes, singer of a Canadian punk band, also jumped headfirst into the crowd during his band’s 30-minute show at the Echoplex — after revealing that he weighed around 300 pounds.

It wasn’t all about punk rock, however. Comedians including Andy Daly, Jonah Ray, Bob Odenkirk and Jeff Garlin joked at the Rec Center, and bands like Brooklyn’s High Places provided a welcome respite from the aggressive hardcore energy, though the duo’s set was plagued by technical problems. Playing songs from an upcoming self-titled debut, High Places’ frontwoman Mary Pearson’s ethereal vocals were overtaken by the sounds of drum machines, samplers and music shakers, leaving patrons generally frustrated.

The adorable Matt and Kim found more success with such audience favorites as “Yea Yeah” and “No More Long Years” and plenty of lively stage banter. Yes, there was crowd surfing and moshing, but the aesthetic was more enjoyable dance party — complete with keyboard interludes of Top 40 covers — than gleeful street fight.

Paint by Colours

Submitted: June 10, 2008 @ 8:11 pm
"Paint by Colours"
Paint It Black – New Lexicon
By: Travis Persaud
Released by Jade Tree Records in 2008

Track Listing:
1. The Ledge
2. Four Deadly Venoms
3. We Will Not
4. Past Tense, Future Perfect
5. Missionary Position
6. White Kids Dying of Hunger
7. Gravity Wins
8. Dead Precedents
9. The Beekeeper
10. Check Yr Math
11. So Much for Honour Among Thieves
12. New Folk Song
13. Saccharine
14. Severence
15. Shell Game Redux

Short. Hard. Fast. All of these words have been used to describe Paint It Black at one point or another. And there’s no use in scouring through a thesaurus to find other adjectives to apply to this punk/hardcore foursome – because short, hard and fast is exactly what their music is.

Led by PhD Dan Yemin, former Lifetime and Kid Dynamite guitarist, Paint It Black spits out 15 hard-hitting tracks in half an hour – and they do it well. “Past Tense, Future Perfect” shows off the band at its finest. Sounding at times like Grade, Yemin’s growl mixes perfectly with the smattering of melody they mix in to add a slice of variance to their 2-minute tracks.

For the most part, Yemin springboards off where Lifetime last ended, adding a tinge more melody and greater cohesion between tracks. “Shell Game Redux” spills open with an anthemic chorus featuring Jeff Pazzati of Naked Raygun, ending the album on the right note. Without reinventing the genre, Paint It Black certainly showcases the best of what’s being done in it.

www.myspace.com/paintitblack
www.paintitblack.org

PAINT IT BLACK and CLOAK/DAGGER @ the Roboto Project, 4/27/08

Ah, back to the Roboto Project. For a show that was advertised as 6 SHARP! Sunday night, seeing it not getting started until 6:45, with a roughly 9 p.m. end time was disappointing. After a guestlist mix up with MODERN LIFE IS WAR the last time I went, I figured lightning wouldn’t strike twice in the same place, right? Wrong. I strode confidently into Roboto, replying to the volunteer working the door that I was on PAINT IT BLACK’s list, only to hear that PAINT IT BlACK didn’t bring a list.

Therefore, in ironing out the guestlist errors, I missed THE STATIC TRANSISTOR’s entire set (it sounded like a fledgling hardcore band, without the crowd baiting mosh moments and copious screaming.) and most of KIM PHUC’s performance (which, once inside, still sounded like a fledgling hardcore band, but was energetic enough to stand muster), which didn’t sound bad, so much as generic. I’d heard it before, which meant that when the vocalist was screaming in the face of the crowd and there was no reaction, a "meh" reaction was all I could drudge up.

CLOAK/DAGGER fell victim to the same problem, which was a odd set, spearheaded by Jason Mazzola, carrying the microphone stand with him as he howled his way through the set and sea of "we have no idea what’s going on here" faces (you could see the look of fear in PAINT IT BLACK’s eyes as they watched the crowd watch CLOAK/DAGGER), ex-TRIAL BY FIRE guitarist held down the fuzzed out guitar sound that the full length we are showcases. Comparisons to HOT SNAKES are even more on the money, even if it sounds like CLOAK/DAGGER is somehow more frantic than that band.

Pastepunk as a whole is pretty fawning to Dr. Yemin’s musical projects, and I’m no different, so waiting to see PAINT IT BLACK for the second time (the first time was before Paradise was released) I was going to try to maintain my reviewer composure, but that lasted about the first verse of "the Ledge" and after that, it was pretty much a lost cause. PAINT IT BLACK had maybe 10 dedicated fans, and the rest of the venue (maybe another 20 people) joined in for a couple more popular songs (read: the ones on MySpace), with THE STATIC TRANSISTOR vocalist getting in the fray for some of the mic shares and sing alongs. (For that matter, Memorial Day might be PAINT IT BLACK’s Can We Start Again, soooooo huge…)

Sadly, there was no tree diving at this concert, which undoubtedly was a hard moment to top for Mr. Agran, Shevelson and Nelson, but if there was a comparison in their minds, they didn’t show it, alternately smiling, screaming and sweating during the blistering set.

I might have chosen different songs (Angel and not Labor Day? Seriously? White Kids Dying of Hunger and not Shell Game Redux… or the Beekeeper) but as I watched Mr. Yemin drop the microphone that had been cutting out periodically during the set and just scream Atticus Finch for the band’s final song in the faces of the crowd, who reciprocated with great aplomb, for 35-40 minutes, there wasn’t a world outside Roboto, (Even the guy working the door was getting in on the gang vocals!) and that was more than enough.

www.myspace.com/wearecloakdagger

Paint it Black [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

Unlike metal, my thirst for punk rock is quite quenchable. As a matter of fact, I’d say I don’t even have a thirst for punk at this point. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the stuff – it was one of the preliminary stepping-stones that eventually lead me to the dark and scary land of metal. It’s just that I’ve got most of the classics that I desire and I don’t make much of an effort to pursue the genre’s newer bands. That said, Paint it Black are one of the few recent punk bands that, along with label mates Strike Anywhere and From Ashes Rise (RIP), have managed to penetrate my hardened soul and remind me how much fun I used to have with this style of music.

This Philly group is masterminded by Dan Yemin, perhaps better known for guitar duties with Lifetime and Kid Dynamite (two more highly recommended bands), though Paint It Black have definitely become a standalone act over the years with this, their third quality full-length release. While the first two releases, 2003’s CVA and 2005’s Paradise are both energetic and fun endeavors, Yemin and company have really stepped it up for New Lexicon. The thing is, they aren’t doing anything particularly different than they’ve done in the past. However, the sense of passion and intensity found here as well as the overall execution is just a notch or two above the past releases.

A lot of typical hardcore fare is present, but it’s done right and accented by elements a lot less commonplace. Most notably, “Severance” is rife with interesting structural twists and features a guest noise/ambient/electronic seague from Oktopus, production guru of Dalek. The post-hardcoreish riffing and pulsing bass groove of “White Kids Dying of Hunger” is another example of the band thinking outside of the hardcore box. My personal favorite track “Past Tense, Future Perfect” opens with Yemin furiously shouting “It’s got nothing to do with luck and it’s got nothing to do with sin!/You said ?°»God’s got it in for you, you’re fucked’ but I don’t believe in him!” though the track ends up being one of the more melodic and catchy herein finishing up with Yemin anthemically proclaiming “We are invincible/We may bend, but we will not be broken!”

Simply put, if you like punk you need to give New Lexicon a try. It’s not about trends or political lip service – this is a real, passionate punk album put out by scene veterans that know how to put a punk album together.

PAINT IT BLACK DESTROYS 13TH STREET

From the lead off track of Will Smith’s "Summertime" to the last fizzle of our severely damaged PA, Paint It Black proved beyond a shadow of a doubt why they’re one of the best hardcore bands in existence last night.

And the crowd… what the fuck? Amazing! Over 2,000 people showed up from all over the place to show to the world, if not themselves, that Philly doesn’t fuck around. Philadelphia invented the tree-drive and it was in full effect last night with well over 30 dives taking place.

We’d love to claim the credit for this event but, while it took a good month or two of planning, all we did was set the stage. We want to thank the dudes in Paint It Black and EVERYONE who showed up last night for helping make April 10th and night to go down in the fucking history books.

Paint It Black Enters ‘Lexicon’ Of Clubs

Philly’s own abrasive punk rockers Paint It Black are poised to tour relentlessly in support of their third full-length to date, New Lexicon (Jade Tree). Tracked at J. Robbins’ Magpie Cage studio in Baltimore, New Lexicon features production from Oktopus (one-half of hip-hop duo DÃ??¤lek), as well as the band themselves and, of course, Robbins. Moreover, the 15-track endeavor marks the first recording with the band’s new drummer Jared Shavelson (Hope Conspiracy, None More Black).

The raucous quartet—best known for fast tempos and, furthermore, an unyielding nature— will put their newfangled album to the ultimate test. Through a barrage of 20-some-odd dates, Paint It Black will determine how tried and true their New Lexicon truly is.

www.myspace.com/paintitblack Tour Dates For Paint It Black:
04/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Sailor Jerry in-store
04/11 – Toronto, ON – Kathedral
04/12 – Montreal, QC- Black Dot
04/13 – Ottawa, ON – Mavericks
04/25 – Doylestown, PA – Siren Records
04/26 – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place
04/27 – Wilkinsburg, PA – Mr. Roboto Project
05/09 – Providence, RI – Club Hell
05/10 – Manville, NJ – Manville Elks Lodge
05/11 – Lemoyne, PA – The Champion Ship
05/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Knitting Factory
05/20 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction
05/21 – Santa Cruz, CA – 418 Project
05/22 – San Francisco, CA – Blazo Gallery
05/23 – Portland, OR – Satyricon
05/24, 05/25 – Tacoma, WA – Rain Fest
05/30 – Jacksonville, FL – Fuel
05/30 – Gainesville, FL – Atlantic
05/31 – Lake Worth, FL – Klein Dance Studio
06/01 – Orlando, FL – Back Booth
07/10 – Morristown, NJ – WFMU – Live on The Pat Duncan Show!

PAINT IT BLACK [I]NEW LEXICON[/I] REVIEW

Yowza! I guess there’s no reason to be surprised that a Dan Yemin-fronted band would drop an amazing record, but New Lexicon is most notable for being amazing and having Dan on vocals. Not to shit on Dan, but he’s no Pavaratti. Whatever the good doctor may lack in vocal range, he more makes up for it in sincerity, and we all can’t be Zoli from Ignite. He’s settled into a comfortable Rollins-esque bark (and stage posture). It’s refreshing to see, as Dan has dealt with more flakes than Kellogg’s when it comes to singers.

New Lexicon is record number three for the Philly foursome, and the first without hardcore’s John Bonham, Dave Wagenshutz behind the drum kit. That’s a pretty mighty drum seat to have to fill, but Jared (ex-Hope Conspiracy) has stepped up admirably and the band is totally on fire, keeping it hardcore, with some of the most pronounced hooks Paint It Black has displayed to date. Props to J. Robbins and Oktopus for keeping it sonically interesting, to boot.

Yemin’s never been one to avoid an issue, and New Lexicon continues the trend. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get the message in songs like "White Kids Dying Of Hunger" and "So Much For Honor Among Thieves". It’s a thoughtful move on his part, as you might find yourself dancing so hard in your room that deep metaphors could whiz by like so many positive youths.

New Lexicon is one catchy fucking hardcore record. Man, do we need one. As much as I love hearing some nineteen-year-old spout political rhetoric with $200 sneakers and a three-thousand dollar amp rig, it’s refreshing to hear some Flag-inflected sing/shout-along hardcore from guys that have been places other than their parents time-share. New Lexicon is probably the best hardcore record in the last three years, and the word about it will no doubt be on everyone’s tongue for a long time to come.

PAINT IT BLACK [I]NEW LEXICON[/I] REVIEW

It would be hyperbole to tag this with a cheesy phrase like “the future of hardcore!” but, holy shit, it’s pretty much the most innovative record you’re likely to hear in 2008. Formed in 2002, following the break-up of vocalist Dan Yemin’s second insanely influential band, Kid Dynamite (the first being Lifetime), Paint it Black let loose Yemin’s most aggressive tendencies, relishing in their devotion to Black Flag, Bad Brains and other highlights of ’80s hardcore. With New Lexicon, however, the band have stepped out of the realm of modern classic hardcore tribute bands and launched themselves into a whole new world. Co-produced by the band, the inimitable J. Robbins and Oktopus (one-half of abstract hip-hop duo Dalek), New Lexicon takes a great hardcore record and infuses it with Oktopus’s utterly unique and occasionally bizarre post-production flourishes. A ripping collection of great hardcore songs when played loud in your bedroom becomes total headphone ear candy in a different setting, as the variety of subtle sounds on this record necessitates multiple spins on just about every music player at your disposal. This is fucking punk rock.

Were there any surprises when you got the final mix back from Oktopus?
Bassist Andy Nelson: What he initially gave us sounded completely insane. We spent a couple of days reeling him back in. I actually really liked some of it. There was one song in particularly I fought really hard to have on the record but I was voted down. We’ll probably put it online or something at some point. There’s actually a version of the record that’s only drums, bass and all the post-production stuff. Not all of it works, but some of it sounds insanely good.

Did you approach writing this record different knowing the kind of work that would be going into the post-production?
Not really. There were only a few parts we left open, knowing we’d want to add some stuff in post. Mostly, we just practiced a lot more. We’d practice hours and hours for days on end. We would do crazy stuff — well, crazy for us — like play all the songs really quiet and really slow. It seems like with hardcore or punk too much attention gets paid to velocity. You’re so worried about getting to the next riff that you don’t really pay attention to the one you’re playing. We ended up going into the studio so extremely prepared that it made the process really easy. (Jade Tree)

Umm…Drop

Blacklisted were just in Quebec. Before that, Belgium. And following the release show for their new album here in Philly, the guys are touring America for three solid months. Being a hardcore band, they’re hewing closely to all-ages venues, from American Legion and VFW posts to warehouses and a Four Seasons.

So the dudes are road warriors. And judging by the toughness of their records, they could handle a year-long tour of Antarctica if only there were a punk scene there. Blacklisted’s second outing Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God is another thunderous mass of bumper-sticker shouts and churning parts. It’s more foreboding than their previous stuff, which was plenty catchy but nothing mind-blowing.

The guys—screamer George Hirsch, guitarists Jon Nean and Dave Foster, bassist Dave Walling and drummer Shawn Foley—use time and space better now, getting impressive mileage from the dramatic pauses between outbursts. “Matrimony” even has the nerve to introduce some atmospheric, decidedly un-hardcore effects at the end, not so different from the approach Paint It Black took on their brilliant New Lexicon.

Released on the powerhouse Massachusetts label Deathwish Inc.—home to Philly’s A Life Once Lost—Heavier Than Heaven doesn’t shy away from touchy topics, and not just in the album title. “I Am Weighing Me Down” sees Hirsch underscoring his self-sufficiency. He closes with the line, “We don’t need Jesus to please us/ It’s not as comforting as you’d like to guess.”

He also attacks marriage, or at least rushed or misguided marriage, on the aforementioned “Matrimony.” He observes a new marriage “every month” among his friends, defending his choices and questioning theirs before launching into a gritted-teeth mantra of “Just want to love myself.”

Divisive as they may be, such sentiments pick up added weight from the fact that Hirsch isn’t as mealy-mouthed as so many hardcore vocalists, and you can understand most of his lyrics on the first pass. You may not agree with Hirsch, but there’s an urgency and defiance to his songs that seems born more out of thoughtfulness than immaturity.

Sun., March 23, 2pm. $10. With Cold World, Let Down, Shipwreck A.D., Soul Control + Mongoloids. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619. www.r5produc tions.com

Paint it Black [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

PAINT IT BLACK’s New Lexicon was not easy to produce, but it’s gritty, thunderous and ugly – just the way hardcore punk should be. New Lexicon marks PAINT IT BLACK’s first recording with new drummer Jared Shavelson (Hope Conspiracy, None More Black) and boasts guest vocals from Jeff Pezatti (Naked Raygun). Still, many of the best surprises occur behind the scenes. Rather than straining to re-create "lo-fi" in a studio, New Lexicon rings in an aggressive clarity from engineer J. Robbins’ (Modern Life is War, Against Me!). With a thick low-end up front (think Bad Brains’ Roir sessions), New Lexicon says that aggression doesn’t have to be found only in thick guitars. From here, the album was passed on to co-producer Oktopus of the indie hip hop group Dalek. Here, the existing sounds of feedback, bass booms and cymbal crashes were twisted into haunting ambient interludes and serpentine waves trailing behind the buzz saw riffs. With little debate, this is PAINT IT BLACK’s finest hour… or, half-hour, anyway, with 15 songs clocking in at a dizzying 30 minutes, 26 seconds. Copies available on colored vinyl. Under exclusive license from Jade Tree.

01. The Ledge
02. Four Deadly Venoms
03. We Will Not
04. Past Tense, Future Perfect
05. Missionary Position
06. White Kids Dying Of Hunger
07. Gravity Wins
08. Dead Precedents
09. The Beekeeper
10. Check Yr Math
11. So Much for Honour Among Thieves
12. New Folk Song
13. Saccharine
14. Severance
15. Shell Game Redux

Paint it Black – A Cohesive Unit

I interviewed Dr. Dan recently.

It was the best interview I’ve done in a long time.

This feature on Paint it Black is almost 1,700 words. Tell me what you think.

It’s not uncommon to sometimes see Dan Yemin referred to as a God or a hero. Check punk rock message boards, fanzines, or music news outlets. The musician has performed in four well known acts within the punk scene – Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Armalite, Paint it Black. He’s been the guitarist for all but Paint it Black, where he’s on vocals – mostly screams, “It’s been established that I can’t sing,” said Yemin. But how does he respond to hearing that someone claims him as a god or a hero? “That’s ludicrous,” he said. Not only does he believe “the God part is offensive,” but he also said “I hope people can choose more inspiring heroes.”

However, he’s not all that vexed by the notion, “When people refer to me as a hero I’m flattered . . . if I’m a positive figure for people that’s awesome . . . but I can’t take credit all for myself,” he said, suggesting that all of his projects have been collaborative efforts. He also admits that he tries not to keep his worshippers and fans in mind when creating new material with his bands. “You’ll be dishonest if you’re writing for fans . . . it’s to them not for them,” he explained.

It seems his most recent project, Paint it Black, is where he is investing a lot of his interest lately, especially after the release of their third full length, New Lexicon, in late February. Yemin admitted he is super hyped about this album, naming it as one of his most proud accomplishments musically, “The new album- I haven’t been that excited for an album since Hello Bastards (Lifetime’s first record released in 1995),” he said.

New Lexicon has been getting great reviews and all of Paint it Black’s members are happy with the response aside from Jared, drummer, who is the newest addition to the group and had been too apprehensive to read reviews. He joined two years ago and New Lexicon has been his first chance to showcase his talent with Paint it Black on an album, but his band mates assured him that everyone loves the new album. “We sound the tightest and most bludgeoning that we have. You know, I think people are always shy about complimenting people to their face, but at least one person every night on this tour has come up to me and said ?°»I was a little nervous about the change in drummers, but God damn!’,” said Yemin. Paint it Black recently played a select few dates on Strike Anywhere’s tour with Riverboat Gambler and they stopped at DC’s Black Cat on March 6th.

Paint it Black has had a few line up changes as far as guitarists and drummers, but the two originals, Dan Yemin and Andy Nelson, bass, agree that the lineup is solid and they’re playing the best they ever have. Dan also expressed that “this band has the best work ethic of any group of people I’ve ever played with,” he said. Bassist Andy feels “I think that with Josh (guitar) and Jared . . . for the first time we have become a cohesive unit as opposed to a series of people playing songs that are written,” he said. The band might work so well together because “As a band in general we’re friends outside of it and that definitely comes through. We can hang out and do other things outside of it,” said Andy. They also try a lot different things during the creating process to get the best result, like playing all the songs at half speed. Andy explained why they chose to do that while recording the last record, “Hardcore bands and punk bands tend to favor velocity and volume over precision and detail, really . . . when we slowed it down, played it quiet and really paid attention to every note?°¦it yielded a lot of things that probably wouldn’t have been there if we were just playing hard and fast,” he said. The creating process generally follows the pattern that Dan explained, “I write the lyrics and I write the skeletons of the songs . . . these guys cut it open, pull all the organs out, rearrange it so that the head is sticking out of the ass and like wrap the intestines around the neck,” he said. In the end, “I’m really proud of the dynamics on this record,” said Dan. Something he’s come to learn through working with so many different musicians in various bands is “learning to trust other people with my songs,” he said.

Another helpful aspect is that the Paint it Black members all listen to a wide variety of music and they all bring something different to the table with their different musical backgrounds. “You can’t write good hardcore if you only listen to hardcore,” Andy said, attributing the advice to Dan Yemin. All of the band mates agreed with this statement, and “if you look at Jared’s IPod it’s proof,” said Dan. Jared listed some of his favorite musicians as Nirvana, Fugazi, Roy Orbison, and John Bonham in addition to a few hardcore acts. All of Paint it Black admitted to being huge Fugazi fans, admiring the way the band worked together to create music and got to know each other so well they could feel what their band mates wanted to play live and didn’t need a set list. Andy and Jared of Paint it Black both suggested that sometimes they get that feeling while practicing together and both understand what song the other wants to play. “You couldn’t do that without me,” said Dan. “You would say ?°»1,2,3,4’ and I would start singing something completely different, Dan said, jokingly.

Dan is also a big fan of underground hip-hop including KRS-One, Chuck D, and MF Doom. All of the hip-hop MCs have a huge effect on Paint it Black, explained Dan. He admires hip hop in the way that they give a character voice, tell a story with a character, and have fun with language. He tries to apply this when writing lyrics, and he also realizes that “what’s catchy is the cadence over the beat,” he said, and this is very apparent on the new album; you could easy catch yourself bobbing your head to the beat seeing as how Dan snuck those catchy aspects into his lyrics.

When he writes, “it usually starts with one line and goes from there,” he said. His lyrics are always a social commentary and he tends to encourage hope through his lyrics. “The best compliment I ever got was ?°»it’s amazing how you make disillusionment seem so hopeful’,” he said. He feels that hope is important and every song ends on a hopeful note. “Hope is courageous. Hopelessness is cowardly,” he said. He went on to talk about how he believes change is important and hope is tied into change. “I stake my life and career on the fact that people can change,” he said. He hopes his lyrics can be inspiring, “words and relationships can be catalysts for change. I offer words and hopefully this band offers a relationship (for the fans),” he said.

One common theme on this last record is challenging religion. In his lyrics, Dan mentions that he doesn’t believe in God and he envies those who do, “I wish I had your faith, maybe then I’d feel safe,” he yells on “White Kids Dying of Hunger”. “On this record, I interrogate the idea of faith a lot. It’s a duality because faith is what gets people through the day, but it’s also a tool to oppress and it’s a tool for social control,” he said.

Fans seem to really be digging the new material. They’ve been getting great responses at their live shows. Dan said they no doubt get the best response in Philly, their hometown, and since the record’s been out for a month, they are getting an ever bigger response. “People are really going for it with the new record,” said Dan. He admits that being on vocals can really take it out of him, especially when the crowd is going wild. “I’ll come home with bruises and my wife will say she wishes there was some other way for the crowd to show their appreciation . . . some nights feel like I’m not going to make it through the set . . . I feel like I’ve been beaten by 2×4s,” he said, referring to the multiple pile-ons at shows when the kids go crazy and fight to get the mic from Dan to sing their favorite lines. It must not help that Dan keeps up his intimidating attitude on stage, however. At their second record release show in Philly back in January he told the crowd he wanted to see a lot more stage dives that night than the previous night, or else “I’m gonna kill you,” he announced to every one in the crowd. Of course it’s meant to be funny, but when you get what his band mates call the “Eye of Sauron,” it’s still a little scary. In DC, a crowd member in the front row shouted, “Show me your degree!” (Dan Yemin is a child psychologist). Dan responded quickly by saying, “I’ll show you the bottom of my foot.” Being behind a mic is a lot different than just being behind a guitar. He admits it’s “much more physically taxing . . . being on guitar is easier,” he said.

Dan admits that sometimes being on stage can be “the best feeling in the world,” he said. “If the band has got it together musically, and there is good crowd participation . . . we’re going to give it 100 percent no matter what, but when the crowd is into it, it’s like, times ten . . . it’s a cyclical inspiration. We’re inspired when someone gets stoked . . . it’s like your first orgasm all over again. You realize ?°»wow! I could do this all day long!’”

Paint it Black [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

Average rating: 7.0 out of 10

Hardcore bands have always drawn from the same musical pot: sing-along choruses, breakdowns, chugging bass lines. Some might say it’s a derivative genre, but the fine line between a template and a rip-off is indeed in place. It’s difficult to say newer hardcore bands are ripping off Minor Threat, Youth of Today, or, hell, even Lifetime, a band Dan Yemin, the singer and co-producer of Philadelphia’s Paint It Black, played guitar in. But some bands are better at kicking that formula up a notch.

One such band was Ink and Dagger, the band that Paint It Black gets its moniker from (nope, it’s not a Rolling Stones reference). Sean Patrick McCabe (rest in peace) and company bent the boundaries of hardcore and twisted the conventions to come up with songs that were not merely distinctively hardcore but distinctive altogether. Paint It Black picks up from Ink and Dagger’s bloody vampire trails.

The title of the band’s third album, New Lexicon, is not a complete misnomer. Dispensing with Ink and Dagger’s vampire trappings and showing the band’s — and especially Yemin’s — mid- to late-thirties agenda, the lyrics address the political climate, fighting the status quo, even Yemin’s recent divorce. It’s a bigger worldview than a fantasy one. And the sophisticated production (Oktopus from hip-hop demons Dalek lends a hand) and interplay of two guitars lets hardcore fester and blossom into bigger something it’s always hinted at becoming.

The one-two punch of "Missionary Position" and "White Kids Dying of Hunger" can easily be the bastard offspring of Ink and Dagger and Lifetime — conjoined twins linked by a mesh of electronic noodling. "Shell Game Redux" is an asskicker of a closing track, with extra vocals from Naked Raygun’s Jeff Pezzati and a most infectious anthemic chorus. And in this election year, the resounding sing-along at then end of "Past Tense, future Perfect" — "We are invincible/We may bend, but we will not be broken" — couldn’t be more apt.

Reaganomics and excess were the original targets of the wave of hardcore led by Minor Threat, and Paint It Black’s politics are a direct descendent, minus the straight-edge agenda. Some people might still consider hardcore nostalgic or developmentally arrested, but Paint It Black has twisted hardcore into something more sophisticated, heavier, and more exciting and inventive.

PAINT IT BLACK: Hardcore’s Proliferation

The members of Philadelphia-based hardcore band Paint It Black have had an uncanny knack for being involved in some of the more notable bands of the genre in recent history. Vocalist Dan Yemin is the most recognizable name due, in part, to his status as guitarist for the widely influential New Jersey band Lifetime, as well as guitarist for Kid Dynamite, another titan of the scene. If you shattered the melodic hardcore of Kid Dynamite, splintered the abrasive cynicism of Good Riddance and stomped on the insubordinate anthems of None More Black, you’d have a heap from which Paint It Black could spring. They’ve had members in those bands, plus the Hope Conspiracy and Affirmative Action Jackson. It’s quite a collection of players, but the four- (and sometimes five-) piece isn’t tethered to previous accolades by any stretch. On their third full-length, New Lexicon (Jade Tree), the band unleashes a fire-breathing refute. Searing with angst, they pump fresh air into the scene’s tired chain-smoke-filled lungs with an assault that’ll catch even the biggest hardcore stalwart off-guard. It’s hard, loud and direct. Yemin and company have cherry-picked all the best elements of their previous bands and bonded them into one culminating slab that is violent, melodic and relevant. As Yemin aptly says, the new album is both "lonely and desolate, and speaks to the idea of the desert that is the American cultural landscape." To deny it as one of the best punk or hardcore records of the decade would be like saying your shit don’t stink, which it does.

CMJ: New Lexicon seems like the defining moment for Paint It Black. Why does this record toe the line with so much more urgency, desperation and immediacy than previous records?
Dan Yemin: We really wanted to up the ante as much as possible. We wanted to remain loyal to our core influences and, in other ways, push or challenge the limitations of the form without leaving the form behind all together. I wouldn’t consider it a radical departure, but hardcore and punk can be pretty conservative in terms of how much variation and how much variance it allows and how much variance the fans of it will allow. We wanted to balance the traditional and the experimental.

CMJ: You’ve been actively involved in punk and hardcore bands for more than 15 years now. Can you assess the current status of the movement?
DY: Like a lot of things, when you apply a historical perspective, you see that things are really cyclical. You see patterns emerging more than any definitive, subjective change. You see a waxing and waning of real traditionalism and then experimental stuff. Different cities will have scenes that are really motivated and really prolific with a lot of creative output and alternative venues. You can go back to the same city five-years later, and it’s dead. Those things go in cycles, and they cycle with the availability of motivated individuals to create culture output. You see other things that wax and wane. Like one of the most unfortunate things that seems to shadow punk and hardcore is cycles of violence. Whether its Nazi skinheads or gangs, there is always some really negative and violent force lurking around the corner. Different scenes either have or lack the ability to metabolize that and continue to create positive change.

CMJ: What about the extent of the underground becoming exceedingly more mainstream?
DY: The one thing that I’ve noticed is that there is a much larger "overground." There has always been mainstream music and underground music and then this gray area in between where some certain bands from the underground gain greater visibility and, in some ways, they expose the underground to the scrutiny of the people that were previously unaware of it. I think that creates a different awareness in the mainstream of underground culture, but it also creates a backlash in the underground culture against that visibility. That’s been happening as long as there has been punk and challenging art—motion and backlash. There’s a huge strata of bands that wear the trappings of underground music, but are definitely mainstream and try to [mimic] mainstream business practices. There is an entire media set that is attached to that kind of music and exposes it on a regular basis in glossy magazines and on television. I feel bad for kids who are looking for a real alternative today. Although information is readily available on the Internet, there is this fake underground that people find, like the glossy magazines. There are bands with expensive haircuts and who do their make-up before photo shoots. I don’t buy into that stuff. I think that people have to work a little bit harder to find true underground music today. They’re easily duped by the bands that wear the trappings of alternative and independent, but aren’t really alternative or independent at all. People can tap into stores like Hot Topic very easily and think of themselves as part of something that’s underground. Some people are just looking for a costume to wear for the duration of their adolescences before they exit their whole idea of subculture all together. For some, it’s just a passing infatuation, but for others it’s more of a permanent fixture in their life.

CMJ: Lyrically, you’re very political and you work with progressive organizations. How important is it for you to be involved in world issues?
DY: I feel it’s our responsibility to honor the tradition of punk as protest music. We strive for political awareness. My activism is mostly in my music. I like to point out the decay, but also end on a hopeful note, because my intent is not to leave people with despair, it’s to leave people with hope. It’s a belief in the transcendent qualities of music.

Paint it Black [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

Paint It Black’s third release with Jade Tree, New Lexicon, shows once again that Philly hardcore is alive and well. New Lexicon promises to be one of the albums to which all other hardcore releases will end up being compared too in 2008. Paint It Black have consistently produced records that not only ooze hardcore cred, but also work to push the bounds of the genre without sounding forced or unsure, and New Lexicon is no exception to that pattern.

New Lexicon features co-production from Oktopus, who you may know better as half of Dälek. The introduction of bits of electronic clatter as well as rich soundscapes from Oktopus adds a whole new and unexpected perspective to the record. This can be heard perhaps most clearly towards the end of "Gravity Wins", where raging guitar feedback slowly transforms into an industrial noise outro. Intensity is this groups middle name, even as the music slows, the energy doesn’t subside, giving the listener a half-hour thrill ride that never lets up. "Four Deadly Venoms" and "So Much for Honour Among Thieves" are as grinding and fist-pumping as any hardcore fan could ever ask for.

Of course you should never be surprised that project containing Dan Yemin has released an album that is nothing short of great. With seminal acts such as Lifetime and Kid Dynamite on his resume, Yemin was sure to make Paint It Black a band that would attract a following as well as critical acclaim, and for good reason.

This is a record you should own — do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars — go straight to the record store and buy this. By taking a genre and just tweaking it slightly, not destroying it completely, not jamming it somewhere it doesn’t fit, but just adding small nuances, Paint It Black have created an excellent record. Whether you are a fan of Yemin’s past work, or just a fan of smart hardcore, New Lexicon will not disappoint you.

Paint it Black [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

The third album by Jade Tree’s hardcore punk band Paint it Black jumped several new stylistic hurdles, pounding out the thrill factor with its tricks and turns.
This wide array may be due to the fact that lead singer and influential scene member Dan Yemin pulled out a little bit, and as mentioned in an interview by the online zine Scene Point Blank, the band worked equally to write New Lexicon.
In all its history, Paint it Black has never ceased to get to the point, lyrically and musically. The New Lexicon tracks average three minutes and Yemin (Lifetime, Kid Dynamite) is a confident and composed leader; his vocals are spot-on and well done. The stroke survivor-gone-psychologist is potty-mouthed but full of compelling opinions that condense the "don’t tread on me" and "we’re in this together" attitudes.
There is something to be said for every song on this record, especially in the sense that they each include a lyrical thesis one may apply to real-world struggles. Take "New Folk Song" as an anthem for outliers in a shantytown: "We don’t know who we are, but we know who we are not."
"We Will Not" features a slightly emotional outro, a fresh production element for the band, and then "Past Tense, Future Perfect" jumpstarts. This song takes the conventional raspy, fast and beefy-basslined Paint it Black sound and contrasts it with melodic chord progressions almost bubbly enough for Fall Out Boy. This chorus might be the fastest pace Paint it Black has used, but accompanied by such upbeat guitar leads, it also serves as the catchiest number.
Another key departure is how tempo is explored on this record, as many more of the tracks take a midway speed. "White Kids Dying of Hunger" morphs into a massive break down joined by long-winded lyrics, "I wish I had your faith / then I’d feel safe." Well executed and cleanly compiled, the double kick and crash is used as if they’re begging listeners to groove along with them.

New Lexicon reflects a passionate attempt at diversity, delving deeper into the components of melodic hardcore, that Paint it Black had previously left alone. If such fond words and two sold-out release shows don’t speak loud enough in favor of New Lexicon, turn it up to 11 and prepare for hearing loss.

–Nicole L. Browner

For fans of: Bad Religion, The Loved Ones, Kid Dynamite
Give these tracks a listen:
"We Will Not"
"New Folk Song"

Lyrics to "Beekeeper"

We are the sound and the fury.
We’re what’s left of the hope and the glory.
Foreshadowed by the dust in the ghost town,
and the rust of the factory shutdown.
I’ve got a fistful of crumbs, and a mouthful of lies.
Everyone needs a hobby. Ours is suicide.

We had all the right tools: Opposable thumbs and big brains full of useless shit.
A long history of wrong turns and dead ends brings us back to where we started again.

And I think that I’m outranked,
Outmanned, outgunned, and outflanked.
"Out of Step"? Yeah, I know what that feels like.
This contract is null and void.
We tore it up before the ink was dry.
Can I remember how to forget? Well let’s hope so.
Because tonight I can’t tell friend from foe.

Live fast (but don’t die young).
Slow down, but never, ever stop.

Strike Anywhere/Paint it Black LIVE in New York

I’d seen the Riverboat Gamblers once before — at Bamboozle 2006, and they’d really impressed me. Vocalist Mike Wiebe was a one-man show, frequently strutting around the concrete floor below the stage and interacting with the audience. Aside from falling forward into his excited fans in the front rows a few times, the argyle sweater-clad Wiebe didn’t really seem to have to resort to such theatrics for attention this time around. The Gamblers had a dedicated group singing along to their punked-up rock’n'roll tunes. They were a bit sloppy towards the beginning of the set, but they sounded much tighter and in sync as they went on. Both guitarists and the bassist helped with charged backup vocals that helped out Wiebe when he would miss an occasional lyric from his convulsing dance moves and constant mic throws. I don’t know how he managed to keep up such energy for 35 minutes with only one real break in the middle of the band’s mostly non-stop set. Despite not really being familiar with material released prior to 2006′s To the Confusion of Our Enemies, it was a fun set.

Set list (7:23-7:58):

?
Don’t Bury Me…I’m Still Not Dead
?
The Song We Used to Call "Wasting Time"
True Crime
On Again Off Again
—–
?
Black Nothing of a Cat
?
?
?
What’s What
?
When Paint It Black opened for Strike Anywhere in December 2005 at this very venue, my strongest memory that remains from the set was the magnanimous pile-on that spilled over onto the stage during the gruff sing-along ending of closer "Memorial Day." The band had a pretty excellent reaction then, but I think even the crowd here outshone them. Paint It Black is gaining a particularly strong fanbase in the tri-state (plus Pennsylvania, of course) area that seems to grow with each passing mini-tour.

The band sounded pretty on-point, as usual, and garnered the response you’d expect: plenty of stage divers, growlers and unfortunate push-pit action. But what was noteworthy was the hilarious shit-talking that went on. I’ve never seen the band so vicious. Granted, Yemin’s vehement railing against organized religion was nothing new, but he also made sure to spit a little hate towards Christian hardcore — no, make that any religiously-inclined hardcore ("What about Jewdriver?" inquired Yemin’s bandmate, inciting more hysterics). And quickly following his mention of a "tough-guy show across town" (the Earth Crisis show taking place that same night at the Blender Theater at Gramercy with Terror, Shai Hulud, Sworn Enemy and Down to Nothing…something I’d perhaps have gone to for two acts), a joke was made about "making an entire career out of the open E-chord." But all this was only a continuation of the show at Generations record store earlier in the day, where the band threw a few jabs at the Knitting Factory and involved Yemin questioning if he should purchase a Comeback Kid LP for stomping purposes.

But analyzing the actual performance, the set list was very agreeable. It was an even split among their three albums, and the more dynamic songs from New Lexicon sounded predictably wonderful in the live setting, setting off the room. With another half-dozen songs or so I still haven’t heard from the album live, it should be cool to anticipate each new set list and hope the band tries out some of the other stuff from it — and maybe even the long shot of having them try and integrate the industrial interludes and overtones somehow.

Set list (8:22-8:49):
Past Tense, Future Present
Pink Slip
Womb Envy
—–
So Much for Honour Among Thieves
CVA
Void
—–
Ghosts
The Ledge
Dead Precedents
—–
Exit Wounds
Nicaragua
—–
We Will Not
Cannibal
Memorial Day
—–
Atticus Finch
I’d like to end on a mostly positive note with Strike Anywhere, so I’ll get the major negative out of the way: Some of the older gentlemen in the crowd were incredibly fucking irritating. PIB’s set was one thing, but this just took it to the next unfortunate level. From thrashing about wildly on the edge of the pit into people who clearly did not want a part of it to randomly shoving nonparticipating/idle bodies, it was kind of bumming me out. It was really only a minority of the audience, so I can’t generalize the entire crowd as being annoying.

Whatever. I managed to catch Strike Anywhere four times in 2006, but due to limited U.S. east coast touring last year (if any at all?), I haven’t really seen the band since the last of those four times (their Fat Wreck showcase). So it had been a year and a half, and thus it would take much more than overenthusiastic mosh to get me down while I got to catch arguably one of my favorite bands of the past few years.

The band themselves? They actually sounded fantastic. Strike Anywhere is closing in on a full decade in the melodic hardcore/punk game, and while they’ve certainly received their fair share of criticisms over the release of their last two albums for supposed quality deterioration, it’s hard to deny they still have it live. Their delivery of pitch-perfect, passionate punk rock paeans like "Modern Life" and "You’re Fired" was still punctuated greatly by the tiny firecracker that’s Thomas Barnett and the rifled chords of his compatriots. Barnett even passed the mic between songs to let crowd members announce their various demonstrative rallies.

The set list certainly could have been a bit more fluid, though, as there were breaks between nearly every song. Sixteen songs isn’t bad, but if not for so many pauses they probably could have played a few more. I’d also have loved to hear the incredibly urgent "Laughter in a Police State," or any of the various requests the band ignored for Dag Nasty and Gorilla Biscuits covers (seriously, how good would "Two Sides" be?) the crowd were routinely shouting. However, they did play "Question the Answer" (off 2000′s Chorus of One EP and, consequently, 2005′s rarities comp To Live in Discontent) for the first time in five years (according to Barnett), and they offered a neat surprise with "Amplify" and "Blaze," as they actually created a gap between the songs that was filled with the opener of 2006′s Dead FM ("Sedition").

If you’re still keeping up with the band, the tour is definitely worth checking out. And if your date has Paint It Black too, there’s really no excuse.

Set list (9:06-9:57):
Allies
To the World
—–
Instinct
—–
You’re Fired
—–
Question the Answer
—–
Infrared
—–
Amplify
Sedition
Blaze
—–
Timebomb Generation
—–
Hollywood Cemetery
—–
Modern Life
—–
Chalkline
—–
‘Til Days Shall Be No More
—–
Prisoner Echoes
—–
Sunset on 32nd

Paint it Black [I]New Lexicon[/I] Review

In addition to being a former/current member of seminal outfits Lifetime and Kid Dynamite, Dan Yemin, lead singer of Philly hardcore brigade Paint it Black, is an honest-to-God, practicing with a diploma-on-the-wall psychologist, which, as one might imagine, flavors his lyrical tirades in cerebrally unusual ways. The quartet’s latest, New Lexicon, is, more or less, blast-furnace business as usual for the boys, save for the ace production work the tag-team of J. Robbins and Oktopus (of Dalek fame) have stamped on the proceedings. "So Much for Honor Among Thieves" and "Gravity Wins" emphasize the type of garrulous bottom-end squall not heard since the halcyon days of Bad Brains, yet manages not to forsake any of the band’s formidable melodic gifts ("The Ledge" and "Check Yr Math" especially) or furious internal combustion. The squelching electronic segues between songs sound oddly out of place on a record of this brevity, but they detract only mildly from what will undoubtedly go down as one of this year’s most sonically ferocious and socially conscious hardcore treatise

FROM BRUSH TO CANVAS

Few musicians have a pedigree like that of New Jersey’s own Dan Yemin. An influential member of Kid Dynamite and Lifetime, Yemin takes over vocal responsibilities in the Philly-based Paint It Black.

While the band’s third release, New Lexicon (Jade Tree Records), won’t turn the punk-rock genre on its ear, it is unparalleled in its fury and aggression.

New Lexicon boasts noticeable upgrades in multiple departments, including production. Oktopus, of industrial hip-hop act Dälek, controls the boards and arms the record with a real "wall of sound" vibe, not unlike his other work. The production is downright abrasive. It’s different from anything released in the genre and works well, with the exception of pointless, white noise passages that appear toward the end of selected tracks that halt the pace of the record.

The album is extremely well written. It’s lyrically top-notch and the group blends their raw power with the occasional melodic stanza with ease. "Past Tense, Future Perfect" is a prime example and "White Kids Dying Of Hunger" is instantly jarring with its opening lines of "What will it take to wake you up / what will it take to fucking shake you up!"

But the group suffers pacing issues and spends more time than usual on slower, chunkier riffs. New Lexicon is a full 10 minutes longer than their first two efforts and, for a band whose main draw is their urgency, it’s slightly crippling.

Make no mistake. This CD kicks all sorts of ass. Few bands execute with such a sense of anger and passion as Paint It Black does. New Lexicon isn’t an instant classic like Paradise or CVA, but it still reeks of importance and shouldn’t be ignored.