PAINT IT BLACK begins a series of shows with Blacklisted tonight. If you didn’t have reason enough to get out to these shows, keep in mind that the band will be offering a small sampling of what the new album has to offer.

09/28/2007 Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman St. w/Blacklisted
09/29/2007 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction w/Blacklisted
09/30/2007 San Diego, CA @ Che Café w/Blacklisted


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PAINT IT BLACK has put the final touches on the band’s third album for Jade Tree, which will hitting streets in early 2008. The record was co-produced by J. Robbins and Oktopus (of Dalek).

Dan Yemin recently offered some insight on the production process:

"We were excited that J. and Alap/Oktopus were willing to co-produce this album. It gave us a couple of pretty amazing opportunities: first of all, we got to have multiple perspectives on the songs and the recording, which just sort of expanded the possibilities. We were able to have the confidence that comes with working with a trusted and familiar producer, but also the "wild card" element that you get when working with someone new, especially someone from outside the community of engineers and producers that typically work with punk and hardcore bands."

"I wanted to work with [Oktopus] because Dalek’s recordings sound totally insane, and I wanted to bring some of that to Paint It Black. Also, its clear from their recordings that he understands how to really blow out the low end. I’m into that. Hardcore albums usually are over-focused on guitar and treat the bass as an afterthought. It’s time to put that style to rest."

"I think there were new influences from both producers: Oktopus brought a density and texture to the recording that we never would have found without him, and not the density that comes from the typical HC overkill of 6 guitar tracks. Also, J., who works with a really wide variety of bands, had just finished a month-long session recording the new Modern Life is War album before us, which I think was a really different kind of project for him, and the ideas that were generated during those sessions about how to best document aggressive music were still fresh in his head when we got there."

The band also recently spoke to Jason Bergman for about the the writing process, the production of the record, hardcore music, and the music business.

Keep you eyes on the site, as Jade Tree will soon be announcing the full details of the album, including a track listing, cover art, release date and an early MP3.

In other current news, PAINT IT BLACK is heading to the West Coast this weekend for a series of shows with Blacklisted before appearing at with and , and a ton of other greats.

09/28/2007 Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman St. w/Blacklisted
09/29/2007 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction w/Blacklisted
09/30/2007 San Diego, CA @ Che Café w/Blacklisted
10/27/2007 Gainesville, FL @ The Fest 6

The most current dates and details can always be found here


While PAINT IT BLACK puts the finishing touches on , you will soon be able to hear the band on the soundtrack of the next installment of the Tony Hawk’s video game series. Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground will feature the track "The New Brutality" from the album along with songs by Bad Brain, The Gorilla Biscuits, and The Clash, among many others.

Download Paradise from
Download Paradise from


PAINT IT BLACK activities will soon be in full swing again as the band prepares to enter the studio next week to record their third full length album.

The album will be co-produced by J. Robbins and Oktopus (AKA Alap Momin). PAINT IT BLACK fans should be familiar with J. Robbins’ work – including , the bands 2005 hardcore masterpiece. New to the mix will be the creative genius of Oktopus, best known for his part in the innovative hip-hop duo Dälek. It’s safe to say that, while remaining rooted in hardcore, the album will be anything but conventional or predictable. Plenty of news and surprises are in store for this record, but for now, let’s turn to the string of dates, PIB has planned.

With two festival shows and quick jaunt out to the West Coast, the band isn’t waiting for the next record to appear live. Check out the dates below:

08/19/2007 Philadelphia, PA @ Starlight Ballroom (This is Hardcore 2007)
09/28/2007 Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman St. w/Blacklisted
09/29/2007 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction w/Blacklisted
09/30/2007 San Diego, CA @ Che Café w/Blacklisted
10/26/2007 Gainesville, FL @ The Fest 6
10/27/2007 Gainesville, FL @ The Fest 6
10/28/2007 Gainesville, FL @ The Fest 6

The most current dates and details can always be found here


As you know, PAINT IT BLACK is once again hitting the West Coast in support of their latest and greatest work, – the album that made it to the top of quite a few lists. If you don’t have it yet, use this opportunity to pick up your own copy. Here at Jade Tree, we like to spread the love to those who support us, so we have come up with a little contest. Spread the word; it won’t be up for long.

1 lucky winner will receive:

2 tickets to one show on the
2 PAINT IT BLACK Posters (Paradise and the Big Deal Tour poster)
1 PAINT IT BLACK Button set (8 different designs)

First, add yourself to the .
Then, email [EMAIL][/EMAIL] with the subject BIG DEAL and the following info within:

Show Date / Location
Full name
Phone Number

Winners will be picked randomly.

The contest ends April 20 so get with it.


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PAINT IT BLACK and THE LOVED ONES are all set for a trip to Pacific Standard Time as the Big Deal Tour gets under way on April 22nd.

Here are the dates:

Sat Apr 22 / Seattle, WA @ The Paradox
Sun Apr 23 / Portland, OR @ Food Hole
Mon Apr 24 / Santa Cruz, CA @ The Attic
Tue Apr 25 / Bakersfield, CA @ Jerry’s Pizza
Wed Apr 26 / Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
Thu Apr 27 / San Diego, CA @ Ché Café
Fri Apr 28 / Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
Sat Apr 29 / Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman Street
Sun Apr 30 / San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill

Next Philadelphia, We’re Getting Warm: We predict the future so you don’t have to.

>>Ask the Experts: SEAN AGNEW

Next Big Bands: Rambo, Paint It Black, Pearls and Brass, and Pissed Jeans

"Often Philly punk hardcore bands are looked over by the papers here in Philadelphia. Rambo from West Philadelphia will be going on their second Southeast Asia tour in a few months and planning their South America tour later this summer. I found it amusing when a certain local band was bitching about how no one cared or was attending their local shows, and here you have Rambo self-booking a tour in countries and cities where American bands have never ever played. Sit down and think about it-these guys are emailing kids they never met halfway across the world and finalizing the details about playing in these tiny remote villages. What local indie bands have even left the tristate area, let alone the country? Paint It Black released what seems to be the No. 1 punk record of the year, according to a bunch of punk and hardcore-related websites. They’ll be touring the States and Europe this year, as well as releasing their third record, which should mean real big things for them. Two Philly bands to look out for: Pearls and Brass. Their latest record on Drag City destroys-they’re insanely good. And Pissed Jeans, who have a zillion labels interested in them right now and just finalized plans to release an EP on Sub Pop later this year. I’m so excited for both of them and can’t wait to finally brag about two full rock bands from the city that are fucking fantastic!" (N.F.)

Sean Agnew runs R5 Productions.


Yep these jokers don’t know when to quit. Check out Philly’s own PAINT IT BLACK when they swing by your town for some good times starting with the band’s first ever sojourn into Canada followed by a return to the Left Coast. , and have all been duped into coming along.

Check out the latest dates

Dillinger Four / Hard Skin / Paint It Black – Live in Philadelphia

When I arrived at the First Unitarian Church (Philadelphia’s bastion for larger scale DIY shows) I was greeted by perhaps the longest line I’ve ever witnessed at the venue. Dillinger Four live is a rare commodity, and apparently one that Philadelphia’s punk fans weren’t willing to miss.

After fighting off the cold, the jagged-toothed homeless that roam around outside the Church, and the stares of those unable to score tickets, I entered the venue to the sounds of local Philly act Mischief Brew. The band played a rollicking set of music that was equal parts street punk and rockabilly with lyrics that leaned towards the political. The band’s energy was high, and they even had enough fans for a solid sing-along or two, but the singer’s forced sneer grew grating at times.

Canadian punk act Fucked Up then took the stage and belted out some massively loud old-school-tinged hardcore tunes. Their set wasn’t bad, but after a few songs it seemed you knew all the band’s tricks, both musically and stage presence-wise.

Paint It Black was next to rock, and having seen them a few times now, in a few different incarnations, I can honestly say was the best performance I have ever witnessed from them. Dan Yemin was truly electrified, putting to shame front-men ten years his minor with his devious scowl, throbbing neck veins, and kung fu-like freak-outs. Yes, I said kung fu-like freak-outs, because on multiple occasions Yemin left his preferred Henry Rollins stance to cut loose with swinging arms and legs. Bassist Andy Nelson was also in his usual run amuck state as he violently swung his bass and teetered on the edge of the stage.

Yemin and company opened with “Ghosts” and then flew through their set, which included songs such as “Atticus Finch,” “Election Day,” “Pink Slip,” “Cannibal” (the song with the best opening scream since Ian MacKaye’s on “Guilty of Being White”), “CVA,” “The New Brutality,” “Void,” “The Insider,” “365,” “Womb Envy,” and “Panic.” To end their set, as they always do now, the band played “Memorial Day.” Being in Philly, Dave Hause just happened to be on the side of the stage with beer in hand, and was more than willing to throw down his vocal parts on the set’s closer.

The commentary that Yemin usually dabbles in between songs was kept to a minimum; at one point he even said, “Let’s get the politics out of the way,” and then fired off short declaratives such as, “Republicans, evil. Politicians, liars. Organized religion, tool for social control. Gay marriage, thumbs up.” His most interesting comment of the day however might have been when he said, “Punk and hardcore are like the Harry Potter of independent music. You are embarrassed to tell your friends you are reading the books, even though they contain plenty of literary allegory and a great story.” Yemin then clarified his comparison by saying that Paint It Black does want to have fun, but they also want to bring some intelligence into a genre that people often view as anti-intellectual.

Hard Skin, a fake skinhead band from England, were next to take the stage. The three-piece offered a set that was equal parts stand-up and musical performance, opening with the comment, “Paint It Black said what they stood for, now we will tell you what we stand for: Getting pissed and getting laid.” The band played catchy-as-all-hell Oi! tunes whose lyrics were almost as ridiculous as the band’s banter. Songs titles like “A.C.A.C. (All Coppers Are Cunts),” “Copper Cunt” and “Oi, Not Jobs” should give you some idea of what I am talking about.

Hard Skin not only prompted many a sing-along, but also many a laugh, as between songs they spent most of their time insulting the other bands on the bill. Their bassist said his band wanted to sell out and build community just like Paint It Black did by “Putting that song on the Tony Hawks (sic) DVD.” He also said that the members of Fucked Up took part in England’s newest trend, “Straight on straight gay sex,” and that Paddy from D4 was a “fat fuck,” a comment made all the more ridiculous by the fact that Hard Skin’s bassist is himself a man of immense girth. At one point during their set a naked concert-goer climbed onto the stage and the bassist announced mid-song, “They make them a lot smoother here in the U.S.”

Now let me stop right here and say that although the show up until this point was far from disappointing, Paint It Black were incredible, and Hard Skin, if nothing else, were a sight to behold; my score for this show mainly pertains to the incredible amount of devotion and passion that Dillinger Four exhibited. In fact, I debated merely writing “Holy fucking shit!” about a hundred times to describe Dillinger Four’s set, but decided I’d give you a bit more than that.

After setting up their equipment, the performance started on a bit of a somber note. Paddy came up to his mic and stated that he had been trying to go around being all “nonchalant and professional,” but that he had to be straightforward with us instead. He then explained to the crowd that he has ulcers and spent the weekend very sick and vomiting. Now this disclosure was definitely a downer, but because this is Paddy, he quickly followed his comment up by saying that he had a puke bucket on the stage and that, “Since we are using someone else’s equipment and it will probably sound like shit, and I am puking, that means this is going to be old school!” The band then launched into “Mosh for Jesus,” the crowd immediately surged forward with a hundred fingers pointing to the ceiling, and any signs that Paddy was sick or that someone else’s amps were being used were non-existent.

Dillinger Four moved through their set with their typical high energy, but after a few songs it became apparent that something was missing. That something was the usual comic insight of Paddy. At first he got out a few jokes, saying he brought this sickness on himself and that punk rock wasn’t the Harry Potter of independent music, but the scientologist work Dianetics. It wasn’t until a few songs in that Paddy’s silence became apparent. He spent more time by his amp and puke bucket than his mic, while his bandmates tried to fill in for him in the joke department. At one point Billy was even asking the crowd how many times they thought Paddy would puke before the end of the set.

It seems that at this point many bands would have called it quits, but in true “the show must go on” fashion, Paddy would march to the mic for his vocal duties and spit out the words through a cringing face that only hinted at the pain he must have been feeling. It was both moving and slightly uncomfortable to watch, but the crowd did their best to pay back Paddy’s perseverance by singing along and, for lack of a better term, going off.

The band marched on, playing songs such as “Doublewhiskeycokenoice,” “Who Didn’t Kill Bambi,” “Let Them Eat Thomas Paine,” “O.K.F.M.D.O.A.,” “Noble Stabbings!!,” “Fuzzy Pink Hand-Cuffs,” and “Folk Song” before they decided to cut things a bit short. They closed with “D4 = Putting the ‘F’ Back in ‘Art’,” and you could tell Paddy was really giving everything he had left as his voice strained and his face wore an expression of pure agony. At the end of the song he immediately ran off the stage, and it was soon after announced that Dillinger Four would not be playing a later show they had originally been scheduled to do.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a selfless display at a show before, as Paddy ignored his own personal comfort to give the kids in Philly a performance to remember. As I was leaving, I couldn’t help but think that what Dan Yemin had said earlier in the night was true. When giving the obligatory “up next” statement he described Dillinger Four as “The best punk band in the U.S.,” a moniker that is not only accurate, but well earned.

Punknews.Org’s Top 20 Albums of 2005

Introduction by Brian

I recently pored over the "Best of 2005" lists to compile an overall one that takes the records that appear most frequently and (subsequently) highest in the ranks. Consequently, here it is…

Punknews.Org’s Top 20 Albums of 2005

#20. The Suicide Machines – War Profiteering Is Killing Us All
August 9 on SideOneDummy Records
Scott’s Testimonial: This politically charged ska-punk combo return with another blistering set of, well, politically charged ska-punk. And the result is yet another awesome album in this band’s catalogue (4-for-6 ain’t bad at all, guys!).

Tie – #18. Teenage Bottlerocket – Total
April 12 on Red Scare Records
Adam’s Testimonial: Maybe it makes me a musical conservative, but it’s remarkably reassuring that there’s new bands emerging to carry the torch of the Ramones and Screeching Weasel. This is solid meat & potatoes punk rock, charmingly free of whatever today’s trends are yet still youthful and vibrant.

Tie – #18. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
May 3 on French Kiss Records
Matt Whelihan’s Testimonial: A little 70s rock, a little bar rock, and one big tale of a girl who is trying to find religious salvation while fighting drug addiction, doesn’t exactly sound like a formula for success, yet it is exactly what makes Separation Sunday such an engrossing listen. Craig Finn’s psuedo-spoken word vocal style coupled with his literary approach to lyrics make him one of the most compelling front men in indie, while the band’s big riffs and twinkling pianos don’t seem ironic, but surprisingly fresh.

#17. Smoke or Fire – Above the City
March 22 on Fat Wreck Chords
Justin’s Testimonial: Smoke or Fire put out an album that appealed to the 14 year old in me who discovered this music, as well as the 24 year old who often gets disillusioned with it. It’s an album full of earnest, critical, well thought out songs that aren’t repetitive, but not so varied that it loses your interest. On a more real, guttural level, Fire Escapes caused me to learn how to weave in and out of Market Street traffic on my bike. The album "gives me faith" in the progression of punk rock, without ever losing sight of it’s roots. Maybe I’m wrong, but come fall of next year, these guys are going to be on the tips of everyone’s tongues.

#16. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
March 22 on Vice Recordings
Aubin’s Testimonial: Despite being burdened by endless comparisons to Gang of Four and Mission of Burma, Bloc Party set their own path with the rhythmic, eclectic Silent Alarm; one of the few times where hype undersells a band.

#15. Boys Night Out – Trainwreck
July 26 on Ferret Records
Brian’s Testimonial: An ambitious, masterfully crafted, not-so-easily pigeonholed followup from a band who many likely thought were to fly the flag Grade once soared high. Boys Night Out write a cohesive, obviously metaphorical but well-connected story of a man trying to exercise his musical — and psychological — demons inside his head, told against a creative, experimental, drawn out and still catchy affair. Read more…

#14. The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree
May 10 on 4AD Records
Greg0rb’s Testimonial: After so many releases of focusing on the fictional and last year’s We Shall All Be Healed focusing on real people other than himself, John Darnielle finally points his pen at his younger self. What we get is all the more compelling because we can truly picture our main character. It’s not all whiny and hateful towards his abusive stepfather; Darnielle uses his narrative prowess to paint a very broad yet detailed picture of his young life and the hope that he had throughout it all. [review]

#13. Bear vs. Shark – Terrorhawk
June 14 on Equalvision
KirbyPuckett’s Testimonial: It is a shame that BvS just broke up.Terrorhawk smoothed out the bumps from their stunning unveiling Right Now You’re In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn’t Quite Right…. They really hit their stride with these fifteen tracks that pulled from nearly every genre for one of the most intriguing albums in recent memory.

#12. Constantines – Tournament of Hearts
October 11 on Three Gut Records (Can) / Sub Pop Records (US)
Jesse’s Testimonial: This release blindsided me. I always really liked Shine A Light, but I never ended up listening to it much. They’ve always been hailed sort of as a punk/indie Bruce Springsteen, and on this release the influence couldn’t be more flushed out. But at the same time, Constantines managed to strip this album down to only the bare essentials each song needed, a huge jump away from Shine A Light where both guitars, keys, and bass were used to their full potential for layered harmonies and melodies. But while having a huge Springsteen influence, Tournament of Hearts couldn’t sound more different than anything I’ve ever heard.

#11. Propagandhi – Potemkin City Limits
October 18 on G7 Welcoming Committee (Can) / Fat Wreck Chords (US)
Sickboi’s Testimonial: Intelligent, aggressive and thought-provoking.

#10. Sleater-Kinney – The Woods
May 24 on Sub Pop Records
Adam’s Testimonial: Every time a track from The Woods shows up in the shuffle I tend to stop what I’m doing and just listen. While I liked a lot of records this year nothing came even close to capturing my attention like this has. Sleater-Kinney’s always quality songwriting is mixed with an impossibly loud and imposing set of instrumentals, captured by a brutally raw production style. The band’s vocals, guitars and drumming are all pushed to the breaking point and the results are staggering. The Woods is one of the most confident albums of the decade, and the band’s command over this material is breathtaking.

#9. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
July 12 on Asthmatic Kitty
Dan Perrone’s Testimonial: I wish I had the words to say just how much I love, adore, and appreciate this album. This is music as an art, in it’s finest form: beautiful, honest, and caring. No one has done what this young man has done in his short career. There’s nothing that can compare to just how good this album really is. Who thought folk music could be so catchy and accessible? With the use of countless instruments, backup vocalists, and, of course, his own talent and amazing voice, Sufjan Stevens has created a masterpiece. There’s not a dislikable thing about Illinois. This kid has one hell of a future ahead of him, and I for one will be a fan all the way. Nothing that has been released in the past year can possibly touch this. Hands down the best album of 2005.

Tie – #7. The Decemberists – Picaresque
March 22 on Kill Rock Stars Records
Sally_Field’s Testimonial: Britpop has never sounded so solid. Picaresque is nearly an hour of dreamy, charming rock laced with pianos and Colin Meloy’s distinct vocals. The album is addicting and unique from the upbeat tracks such as "The Infanta" to the more mellow, emotional tracks in the likes of "From My Own True Love (Lost at Sea.)" To put it simply, this album is a gem and, without a doubt, my favourite release of 2005.

Tie – #7. Comeback Kid – Wake the Dead
February 22 on Victory Records
Dan Perrone’s Testimonial: My review of this was pretty controversial, and ended up being pretty awesome because of that. While I still stand behind everything I said, it is obvious (being that this is #6) that this is not the best album of the year, although it is damn close. It’s the best album Victory will has and will put out in a long time, and this is just the beginning for this young group. They’ve got the world by the balls; now it’s just time to wait and see what they do with it.

#6. Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
August 30 on Atlantic Records
Sally_Field’s Testimonial: After I first downloaded this album, it sat in my hard drive for weeks before I’d worked up the courage to listen to it. When I like an album as much as I liked Transatlanticism, a let-down was essentially imminent. Yet, when I finally worked up the courage to listen to Plans, I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, the album is different than past Death Cab releases, but it still encompasses the mellow charm that makes the band so appealing in the first place. "Soul Meets Body" and "Summer Skin" remain my favourite tracks.

#5. Modern Life Is War – Witness
June 21st on Deathwish, Inc.
Aubin’s Testimonial: A seething, vicious demonstration of the power of restraint in hardcore.

#4. Latterman – No Matter Where We Go..!
August 9 on Deep Elm Records
Justin’s Testimonial: Where the hell did they come from? It simultaneously makes me want to ride my bike, sing along, and move back to the east coast. It makes me feel good inside, which is a hard task. I think that we only have good bands like this once in a very long while. Feel-good album of the year is the wrong term, but fits nonetheless.

#3. A Wilhelm Scream – Ruiner
August 16 on Nitro Records
KirbyPuckett’s Testimonial: A “Wilhelm Scream” is a generic sound clip used in several films, made famous throughout the Star Wars films. Although, the band’s name is derived from a common audible noise there is nothing broad about their music. With Ruiner AWS have compiled a smarter and more aggressive record than Mute Print, but the biggest surprise is perhaps the cunning lyrical department. Also, the song “Me Vs. Morrissey In The Pretentiousness Contest (The Ladder Match)” is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

#2. Against Me! – Searching for a Former Clarity
September 6 on Fat Wreck Chords
Scott’s Testimonial: Every album Against Me! released has been better than the one prior, and this is no exception. Tom Gabel’s lyrics continually cut to the core of whatever issue he feels like addressing, whether it be personal or social-political. It excites me to know I’ll be able to witness every single step of Gabel’s maturation as a musician, and to know that every single one of those steps is in the right direction. Gentlemen, take a bow: You are the most important band in punk rock.

#1. Paint It Black – Paradise
March 8 on Jade Tree
Brian’s Testimonial: Melodic Hardcore 101 is now in session, with your long-time professor Dr. Dan Yemin. Paint It Black deliver a mindblowingly good twist on their style of no-frills, no bullshit hardcore with pangs of melody and plenty of spots to catch your breath, only to have it torn from your mouth and choked to oblivion. Whatever that means. Dr. Dan is outraged at the state of the world today, and he wants to let you know through song. Being pissed off never felt so good. My favorite album of 2005.


has named PAINT IT BLACK’S Paradise (JT1103) as the best album of 2005. Vocalist Dan Yemin has been running his mouth all year about how PAINT IT BLACK’S second full-length was the best thing going, consider this the power of positive ranting!


Hey everyone, apparently the fine folks at have picked PAINT IT BLACK to compete in this week’s top 40 countdown. So as long as you’re reading this, you should go and we promise whatever wish you make as you click will come true.


Paint It Black is just about to conclude the remainder of their first European tour and the band will certainly be leaving on a high note, as they finish the tour at France’s Fury Fest on Saturday.

A brief list of tour highlights thus far have included the following:

Enthusiastic crowds in several cities who have helped the band sing along and made Paint It Black feel right at home.

Martin and Tomas, the PIB drivers extrodinaire who have made it their job to make sure the band arrives on time and intact to each show.

The wonderful cities of Berlin, Vienna, Milan, and Luzern.

The excellent football grounds and food specialties of each city.

Bands like Pilger, Down and Outs, Short Fuse, Force of Change, and Arrit Antraek.

And most of all the punks who have done their best to welcome PIB to their home towns each night. Thanks!


PAINT IT BLACK still hot and heavy on the release of Paradise (JT1103), are finally looking to bring their unabashed bravado abroad. For much of June Philly’s favorite sons will be overseas; beginning the 8th in Iceland Dan Yemin and crew will spend each night until the 25th showcasing why they are one of the most potent bands in punk rock today.


Please consult the Paint It Black for current dates.

Paint It Black [I] Paradise[/I] Review

I’ve been waiting for “Paradise” to come out after about two listens of the last full length “CVA”. Seeing them at Posi #’s last summer only pumped me up even more. There was a point around three months ago that I literally NEEDED to hear more Paint It Black like a normal human being requires food, air and water. This band is just that good. They have done no wrong from their demo to the present and, likely, never will. Featuring Dan from Kid Dynamite doing vocals and Dave from Kid Dynamite/Good Riddance on drums this band takes hardcore punk in a direction a lot of bands attempt but usually end up failing miserably at in the process. They manage to perfectly balance being melodic and utilizing absolutely brutal vocals without being ?°»too heavy’ or ?°»too poppy’. The drumming from Dave Wagenshutz is flawless with some of the most inventive fills I’ve heard since Jarrod Alexander in The Suicide File. For fans of hardcore or people who just enjoy good, powerful, ROCKING music in general: Paint It Black is definitely a band you should check out. Catch them live if you get the chance.


The band has reported good, good times! They have invaded the beach front property of Brian Dorry who co-owns and are considering canceling the remainder of their dates to spend additional time taking strolls on the beach and hangin’ ’round the campfire. Speaking of cancellations, the last show of the tour has been moved. Please check the for all the details.

Paint It Black [I] Paradise[/I] Review

With all songs clocking under a minute and a half, Paint It Black delivers an album that doesn’t require a lot of your already so short attention span. But even then they manage to capture every bit of attention necessary. It’s fast, pissed off and at times even melodic, which could be the only point of criticism one could have on their debut “CVA”. With Dan Yemin from former Lifetime and Kid Dynamite fame at the steering wheel and David Wagenshultz of Kid Dynamite and Good Riddance behind the drums, Paint It Black is on a course to become one of the better old school hardcorebands around. Hell, at some points you even recognise influences from the short lived Kid Dynamite, and that’s a good thing. Basically, if you like old school hardcore with a modern twist, this album just blows you away.
Score: 8

Paradise Lost

This should be a boom time for hardcore, right? Religious zealots control the government, the economy sucks, we’re at war and American Idol is the most-watched television show in the country. How much more ammo do you need, brah? The streets should be teeming with beefy dudes in hoodies and Chuck Taylors, ready to fire machine-gun riffs at any and all comers. But they, uh, aren’t.
So thank goodness for Paint It Black. With scene points up the wazoo (frontman Dan Yemin was in Kid Dynamite and Lifetime, drummer Dave Wagenshutz was in Good Riddance), the Philadelphia quartet is a standing army of old-school values. Raw-throated shouting about how war is bad? Check. Rhythm section that operates in two gears: breakneck and chugga-chugga? Check. No song over two minutes? Oh yeah.
But Paint It Black know that all that has been done thousands of times before, so on their second album, Paradise, they tweak the formula ever so slightly. The breakdowns on “Pink Slip” and “Labor Day” feature little chewy melodic nuggets that explode like Fruit Gushers, while the intro to “Ghosts” recalls Radiohead before they forgot they were a rock band. There’s even an Against Me!-style acoustic sing-along at the end of the closing “Memorial Day;” its chorus of “Here’s to the skinned knees and sutured heart/ Here’s to the unhappy endings and all the false starts,” is sure to inspire group hugs in pits across the country. Then, hopefully, it’s on to Washington. —Amy Phillips

Paint It Black [I] Paradise[/I] Review

I don’t think I need to go on a rant about how severely diluted the meaning of “hardcore punk” has become. Let’s just say there are bands that do it right and bands that don’t and that people will never agree on which is which. With “hardcore” enjoying peak status alongside “bling” as a commercial and cultural catchphrase and major labels now plucking from the rosters of certain popular hardcore labels, the meaning of the term means different things to different people, to put it neutrally. People can debate what is “true” all they want or obsess over fashion and gossip– but when you hear a band that does it right it should be unquestionable.

So this is Paint It Black’s second full-length and it’s pretty great. CVA is already a respected debut and Dan Yemin (x-Lifetime, Kid Dynamite) is an underground veteran who can’t help but pour everything into a project. CVA was about his recovery from a stroke, Paradise is about his divorce and the current world political climate. Call it youth crew or whatever, this is tough-minded, straight-ahead gym bag hardcore spliced with layers of politics and guitars worthy of Repeater-era Fugazi.

The songs are a bit longer than CVA, but all are under 1:45 and the 14 tracks go by in 21 minutes. Again, the band shows they dominate the art of the short fast song and how much you can do within a brief time frame. With so many retail stickers promising “HUGE BREAKDOWNS” here’s a band that truly understands how to control tempo and energy and chop your head off with a real-deal breakdown or fill. There are some brilliant sections that are completely unexpected and different from incompetent, lifeless attempts at this sound. A lot of credit is due to the drum skills of Dave Wagenschutz (x-Kid Dynamite, also of Good Riddance) paired with the bassdudeship of Andy Nelson. Colin McGinniss is also truly a lead guitar here, giving things both the Dischord and Revelation sound (not quite the MBV comparison on the one-sheet). Yemin is as livid as ever, both in lyrics and performance. It is still tough to hear the words “ballot box” in March of 2005 yet Yemin’s poetic, personal, and political diatribes cut to the bone. There’s some “Get your head right” stuff that give things that inspiring Damaged or Break Down The Walls energy and also turns of phrase like “Treating people like pigeons; I hope they peck out your eyes.” He even comes close to some Ray of Today lion roars. Yeah, it’s kind of weird to hear gang vocals on big punk anthem choruses on a Jade Tree release, and the mic picks up “Does he want it that manly? That’s going to get someone pregnant.” Everything just clicks, the recording by J. Robbins is great as usual, and it’s the perfect length for a hardcore LP.

The set ends with an acoustic sing-along reprise and you realize you’ve also listened to a pretty good pop record. I don’t know if you’ll be hearing any singles on Clear Channel media outlets, but I’m guessing Jade Tree will get this some decent attention. As for staying local to Philly and touring infrequently, it’s too bad that a lot of people will miss out on them. But some bands thrive on staying true to their roots and Paint It Black is that type of band. The good kind.

Paint It Black [I] Paradise[/I] Review

You’d think that if you were in your mid thirties and had just suffered a stroke you would want to take things easy for a while. Well that wasn’t the case for Paint it Black vocalist Dan Yemin. After under going medical treatment for his stroke a couple years back Yemin formed Paint it Black, a band that is much heavier, darker, and urgent than his former bands Lifetime and Kid Dynamite.

Paint it Black is a straight forward, bare bones hardcore punk band who musically combine the ferocity of Black Flag with the speed of 90s punk rock. Their first album was a non-stop explosion of aggression and fury, but for anyone not well versed in punk’s intricacies, the songs all ended up being a bit indistinguishable. I guess that should be expected from a band that has never written a song over two minutes long.

Luckily on Paradise Paint it Black has thrown in some variation to their pummeling onslaught of sound. The album opens with “Election Day,” a double time punk track full of vocalist Dan Yemin’s typical shouts, but halfway through drops into a strange noise rock breakdown, while songs like “Angel” and “Labor Day” move into more Kid Dynamite like melodic guitar territory, and other songs like “Exit Wounds” make use of the studio by adding flange to a drum fill.

Despite experimentation Paradise is not necessarily more palatable. Paint it Black is still more pissed off than a team of roid raging football players and the album may still illicit “All the songs sound the same,” comments. This may not be the best place to start for someone introducing themselves to the world of hardcore punk, as Paint it Black take the most raw of human emotions and throws them back at the listener without any filters or pretty packaging. At the same time this album shows Paint it Black’s attention to detail. They have mastered tight and concise song writing that is able to convey a complex argument while still giving hardcore kids something to dance to in under two minutes.

Career Opportunities

Since before The Jam uttered its “Youth Explosion” declaration, or Generation X laid down that “Youth Youth Youth” chant or Sham 69 got everyone riled up about kids who are united, punk rock’s been almost exclusively associated with adolescence. And can you blame the world for thinking so? The brash energy, us-against-them mentality and black-and-white worldview are perfectly suited to catering to adolescent angst and youthful rebellion. Toss in the exodus of the scene’s founding fathers into post-punk and other forms of music by the mid-’80s, and it’s no wonder punk’s firebrand mentality has frequently been associated with immaturity.

It’s been more than 25 years since punk shook the music world and permanently reorganized the way we look at music and the world beyond it. It evolved from a fad into a scene and, for some, into a lifestyle. As the new millennium slowly grows into itself and punk, now in its 30th year, the children of the punk revolution – the first ones born and raised in a world where punk drastically altered the cultural landscape – are coming into adulthood. For many of them, it means holding onto that lifestyle.

Dr. Dan Yemin of Philadelphia is one of that generation. By all superficial measures he’s just another Joe Paycheck, albeit a successful one, working as a self-employed psychologist treating teenagers and kids through the miracles of modern psychotherapy. It fills his days. It pays the bills and that mortgage payment each month. In one regard, he’s the model of the upwardly mobile, educated thirtysomething. Underneath it all, however, the former hardcore kid hasn’t let go of his roots.

Although the punk fashions and the weekly attendance at punk-rock concerts are a thing of the past, replaced by a more mature, balanced lifestyle, he hasn’t forgotten the lessons punk rock taught him. As the singer for Jade Tree Records’ Paint It Black, he’s spreading the gospel. After all, the lessons he learned from a canon of mixed tapes, 45s and from the stages of DIY all-ages shows aren’t the sort of thing you outgrow – even after settling, albeit somewhat uncomfortably, into the real world.

“Most of my politics were coalesced from being a punk rocker, from being a hardcore kid,” the well-spoken therapist explains over the phone, shortly after his final patient has left for the evening. “It was part of the process of me becoming a politicized adult, an intelligent, critically thinking adult, and I’ll always be grateful for that. A lot of my best friends are still people I know through the punk scene. There’s a very strong connection to that.”

A few seconds of Paint It Black’s sophomore effort, Paradise, should kill any doubts that Yemin’s career and maturity are incompatible with his punk-rock upbringing. The band lashes out with the ferocity, volume and ideological firepower that have more in common with SST Records’ hardcore-era glory days than any of today’s fashion-conscious hardcore acts. The 14-track affair’s over in just more than 21 minutes, though it’s a runaway-train ride of bristling, buzz-saw guitars, Molotov-cocktail rhythms and Yemin’s half-shouted political commentary. With that sort of intensity, 21 minutes is just about enough. It’s a reminder of the days when punks were more interested in righting the world’s wrongs than pleasing record-company executives.

While some underground lifers will say Yemin and company are too invested in the system to muster anything more than half-felt inspiration of true revolutionary artists, he argues the opposite: Bands whose paycheck, lifestyle and financial well-being depend upon wooing fans can’t ever truly cut loose to risk it all. For Paint It Black, day jobs are a way to ensure it doesn’t have to worry about sacrificing polemic for populism. Guitarist Colin McGinniss installs commercial HVAC systems. Drummer Dave Wagenshutz works for Jade Tree. Bassist Andy Nelson splits his time between knocking out some sort of computer code or another and pursuing a college education. Sure, the day jobs aren’t quite as glamorous as glossy-magazine photo shoots, spending weeks on end in the studio on the company dime or intercontinental touring. The careers pay for something more than just the band members’ living expenses: They buy Paint It Black a freedom that’s increasingly rare even in the punk underground.

“It is really the big upside to having our own careers that aren’t music,” Yemin says. “Careerism has killed independent music, in case you haven’t noticed. I’ve said this before. We bitched about that on the last record, with the topical stuff. There are just bands now that are more worried, a lot of bands now, that are more concerned with finding management and booking agents than they are about writing an album’s worth of strong and intimate songs. There’s loads of utter tripe out there. I kind of feel that we spent the ’90s playing in basements and eating peanut-butter sandwiches to pay for their haircuts.

”I don’t worry about people making a living off something that we invented. That’s not what I worry about. What I worry about is just the glut of crap in the independent music scene is in not a particularly great place right now.”

Yemin has every right to feel a little jilted, even if he’s not the sort to count missed opportunities. He first made a small name for himself playing house parties and tiny venues in New Jersey’s Lifetime. Between 1990 and 1997, it crafted furiously catchy pop punk (think Descendents or Buzzcocks rather than radio tripe) with Yemin playing guitar on four long-players, before it splintered; Yemin and Wagenschutz regrouped in Philadelphia’s Kid Dynamite, a hardcore outfit that broke up before it ever really received its due in 2000. Undaunted, Yemin bounced back as Paint It Black, dropping the band’s debut, CVA, from Jade Tree in 2003. To say he’s not just remained, but helped influence and shape the punk underground’s direction for the past 15 years is anything but hyperbole.

If there’s anything Yemin’s learned in his decade and a half in the underground, it’s how quickly minor ethical concerns can be erased when a livelihood is threatened. It’s not just the major-label/indie debate that’s been raging since The Clash signed to CBS, either: There’s a whole stew of problems that, in a more ideological world, more than just a handful of punk acts would consider: Punk songs appear in television commercials. The summer’s largest package tour – gleefully supported by dozens of top-tier punk bands, no less – is essentially nothing more than a gigantic, roving commercial for footwear. The Dead Kennedys, once a pinnacle in independence and disdain of commercial pressures, imploded in drawn-out and nasty litigation that’s turned it into a laughably vapid shadow of its former self. If there’s anything that’s been sacrificed as punk’s grown from a somewhat obscure underground movement into a catch-all for youth culture, it’s the all-important ethics that used to come part and parcel with punk rock – usually because bands compromise their ethics simply, to be crass, to stay in business. Paint It Black – essentially a tax write-off for Yemin and company – doesn’t even have to consider that kind of choice to keep a roof over its head.

“You always make compromises along the way,” Yemin says. “We’ve had to make some, but minor compromises. There are certain things we are not going to compromise. I’ve said we’re not going to play Clear Channel shows and we’re not going to play Clear Channel shows. Most of the bands I know, even punk-rock bands with a strong ethical component, really weigh their options because it can really hurt you in some cities. They call them markets now. I still call them cities. I’m old-fashioned. I don’t want to call my friend in Chicago and say: ?°»Hey, how’s life in the Windy Market?’ I don’t want to call my friend in Providence and be like: ?°»What’s it like living in a B market?’ Fuck all that shit. You can hurt yourself in a lot of cities by not playing a Clear Channel show because they have a monopoly and a bit of a stranglehold. I’m psyched that we don’t have to make that compromise. We don’t even have to think about it. I’ve turned down great shows at Clear Channel venues and I feel good about it. Not because I can get up and preach about staying true to my values, but because I like being able to sleep at night and not feel nauseous about that shit.”

Punk’s not dead, but it’s sure turning into an embarrassing parody of everything it used to want to destroy, at least in many places. You won’t find Paint It Black moving in those circles. Its fiery punk rock is as much a reaction against the smugness of post-9/11 America as the cult of bubblegum punk. Paradise roars with the sort of fury nearly forgotten in the sugary world of modern punk. After all, it falls on ears that have proclaimed the vague leftist leanings of Green Day’s American Idiot as a finely honed political manifesto. The days when acts such as Conflict, Crass and even The Clash’s politicking rocked the world seem very, very long ago.

“That’s why I kind of feel like it’s important, for me at least, for me to honor the tradition of punk rock as protest music,” he explains. “A lot of times people laugh when you talk about political music because they assume it’s going to be this adolescent, sloganeering kind of crap. I think we did a record that’s very political but also has subtlety to its politics. Certain elements are not subtle at all. I don’t feel like we’re a band that has to worry about bludgeoning you over the head with slogans.”

Now that Yemin has a steady client base in his therapy practice, conventional wisdom would dictate it’s time for him to outgrow his days as a punk-rock agitator, pay off the college loans and, eventually, starting living the fat, easy life. Of course, conventional wisdom can’t grasp the way punk ethics seep into someone’s soul, help form their personality and help guide them long after they cut their hair or stop attending shows every other night.

Maybe much of the reason that the mainstream sees punk as a stopping point on the way to adulthood isn’t because of its adolescent nature, but rather people’s tendencies to grow apart from the sweltering idealism associated with the scene, Yemin says. After all, when you’re juggling a sadist supervisor, wage-slave working conditions and all the other various headaches of adulthood, it’s tough to remember that, somewhere in the world, people are fighting the good fight.

“I think a lot of the times, being really concerned about values is a transient phase for people, unfortunately,” he reflects. “I think some of it is because people become kind of militant about their politics. Some of that is what’s developmentally appropriate for teenagers. You discover this other world that isn’t on the TV and it seems so important and right and it seems so immediate. Right now, we have to change the world. We have to scream about it. It’s the difference between right and wrong. We have to fight for it. A lot of that comes from the adolescent search for identity, that militant thing. You’re going to burn out pretty quick. Most people do. Some people grow up to be activists. Some people grow up to be into making exciting and aggressive art, and the politics become part of their lifestyle. For some people, the politics are too much work. It’s too hard to think of your life as something political.”

For Paint It Black, it’s just like the good ol’ days: There are no tour managers to employ, no agents taking their 15 points and no shareholder-conscious dude from the label breathing down their neck. There’s just punk rock, and a burning desire to combine youthful idealism with mature insight – and no market considerations, career implications or business concerns to foul things up. The day jobs may keep Paint It Black from becoming a “professional” act by many people’s standards, but the thunderclap of commerce-free music that’s Paradise proves they sure as hell aren’t amateurs, either.

Paint It Black [I] Paradise[/I] Review

A record of the year, isn’t it too early? When David Wagenschutz hits the first beats hard during the opening of "Election Day", I just knew that this album will reach much further and it’s going to be great. "Exit Wound" came as a very catchy toon with a great hookline and chorus, while "The New Brutality" has the best ending part when I thought it’s music meant to bruise till the end of it. It’s unexpected. It’s awesome. Paint It Black with a new guitarist has cram in as many chops and changes as possible in this album and coming over as an interesting blast of lightning and thunder, especially in "365" and have the nerve to end with an acoustic riffs and singalong parts in "Memorial Day". The whole album have been the best HC/Punk can offer with a devastating wall of noise that makes every Hardcore bands all over wish they would have written "Paradise". The album title doesn’t reflects the album’s political/personal lyrical stances and observations on the America crumbling politics. Dan Yemin particularly likes focusing on the decaying of it all. Still, it doesn’t affect the sharp stabbing, heavy crunching sound that Paint It Black make on this second album, and once the CD slides into place and your ears are assaulted by Dan’s view of the world, it’s not difficult to conjure up the thought that he had in mind. The thought of pain, frustration, anger and hopes for the better that, if he’s ignored, are sure to be repeated.

Paint It Black [I]Paradise[/I] Review

"While I do like their extremely well executed debut, Paint It Black’s somewhat paint by the
numbers songwriting (sorry, couldn’t resist!) came across as a little uninspiring given their
legendary pedigree (Kid Dynamite, Lifetime). I mean don’t get me wrong, these guys play razor
sharp hardcore that’s leaps and bounds ahead of the typical hardcore band but the debut had a
slight been there, done that feeling to it. So while it’s a fun record to pop in if you’re feeling like
some straightforward hardcore it’s not anything close to the genre defining work of their previous

"Paradise" is their first step in reclaiming some of that lost ground. Fans of the straightforward
stuff will not be disappointed, as they’ve kept their talk-sing over the slower muted riffs into
blazing hardcore approach intact, but they’ve built around it with the addition of more
sophisticated intros/bridges, more backing vocals and a bigger emphasis on melodic elements
that were all but absent on their debut.

You can really hear this new approach shine on cuts like the furious "Pink Slip" and the barn
burner "Angel". The former snaps you to attention with a perfectly timed lead guitar/pounding
drums intro that bridges into some good ol’ fashioned hardcore before fading out into a thick,
melodic ending. "Angel" starts with all the speed of their earlier work but there’s a distinct melodic
edge that later weaves into a Cult-like hook that’s hard to forget. And I guess that’s the big change
on this record. Some truly unforgettable songs that can stand up to the legacy of their previous
bands. They’ve even branched beyond their predecessors as evidenced by the closing track
"Memorial Day". It starts like a lot of their songs but then you hear a guest appearance by the
singer from The Loved Ones and know it’s going to be different. They slow it down for a bass only
build into a powerful all acoustic ending. Truly an impressive change for these guys.

These added elements may make it sound like their song lengths are getting longer and bloated
but that would be wrong! There’s still not a single song over two minutes, just a lot more going on
this time around and as Martha Stewart would say "That’s a good thing". Seriously, "Paradise" is
a huge step up from "CVA", finally earning Paint It Black the right to be mentioned in the same
sentence as bands like Lifetime and Kid Dynamite."

Paint It Black [I] Paradise[/I] Review

Prior to buckling down to write this review, I spent a few minutes going over what I wrote about PAINT IT BLACK’s debut, CVA, and drawing comparisons to my thoughts then, and now concerning Paradise. Needless to say, I’m just as blown away from PAINT IT BLACK’s brand of hardcore now as I was a couple of years ago, and still Paradise is largely an entirely different animal than CVA. There’s something inherently funny is typing the fact that PAINT IT BLACK has vastly opened up its sound to now include songs that almost span two minutes, but it’s perhaps the most obvious development in the band since its inception – well that, and a dripping sense of melody and seriousness.

The 14 songs that make up Paradise deliver a teeth-gnashing assault in roughly 21 minutes, and virtually every listen leaves you wondering how the damn thing ended so quickly. Dave Wagenschultz still drums harder than virtually anyone else in the business, and that kind of out-of-control playing is the tasmanian devil backbone that’s constantly growling in the center of things. From the speedball travels of "365" to the breakdown friendly timings of "Labor Day," Wagenschultz ‘s playing is the kind that reminds me every day that I need to learn how to play the drums before I become old and feeble. Of course, the percussion momentum is slapped silly with the smokin’ guitars of Colin McGinniss, and of course, ring-leader Dan Yemin’s venomous vocal eruptions. As has been widely noted since Yemin took over vocals for the first time among all the legendary bands he’s played in (LIFETIME, KID DYNAMITE), Yemin culls together a degree of anger/emotion that’s practically frightening. I’ve never met the man, but I’m drawn to a vision of him having this massive, bulging vein racing across his forehead. Maybe the best way to describe Yemin’s vocal demeanor is the acknowledgment that he means every word he shouts 110% and he’s got the scars to prove it. Helping out with "melodious assistance" (as the insert booklet notes) is former TRIAL BY FIRE vocalist Jason Yawn, and current THE LOVED ONES frontman, Dave Hause. The two fellas chime in effectively by working in a give-and-go setup with Yemin, creating the effect of vocals swirling around the mix in a handful of songs. It’s a nice touch, both musically, and in bringing together members of the Jade Tree family.

Just as enthralling as PAINT IT BLACK’s music is Yemin’s lyrical content, and it’s autobiographical nature. The most memorable lyrics are the last ones sung on Paradise, from the song "Memorial Day," with the folk-like sing-along "So here’s to the skinned knees and sutured hearts. Here’s to the unhappy endings and all the false starts." I rarely go to shows anymore, but a line like that begs of me to put down the excuses, get in the car, and drive myself into that very sweak-soaked sing-along. It’s the kind of involvment that has crowd-participation written all over it, and by far, a step out of line with anything else PAINT IT BLACK has ever written. Additionally, lyrics from "The New Brutality," ("You wonder why we always play it safe? Our creature comforts are tying us down, and holding us back") and "Burn The Hive," ("You’ll teach us just who to avoid. We’re suspicious, frightened, and paranoid") send voltage through my system. Yemin’s content is on par with latter day words by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz, but delivered with a hardcore ferocity that doesn’t make talking about social change seem like a lost cause, or at least one fraught with skepticism.

To borrow a line from Deep Fry Bonanza’s review of this album, Paradise just fucking rips. It’s the sound of the eye-opening amazement that drew so many of us into punk and hardcore in the first place, and for that, it will always feel like home.