MUSIC . One Track Mind : Paint It Black "Past Tense, Future Perfect"

Their brevity has earned Paint It Black a fair amount of teasing in these pages, but really, we’re just impressed. Shrieking tightly composed sociopolitical arguments in an average of a minute and a half is a struggle by anybody’s standards, and the Philly punks have consistently come out on top. By this logic, it might indicate a snap in their tautness when the preview track from New Lexicon (due out in February on Jade Tree) clocks a whole 2:20 in length — their longest cut to date, and the first to break the two-minute barrier. But "Past Tense, Future Perfect" packs as much punch as any of its more expeditious cousins; drum hits blare from the start, and singer Dan Yemin seems to take on the biggest of targets, God, in an atheist’s searing howl. At 1:20, the Paint It Black we once knew might have wrapped it up, but the bass keeps moving, heralding a delicious coda of arpeggiated guitar chords and Descendents-style counterpoint refrains. The band’s lightning speed of yore can still electrify, but pacing itself makes for a greater level of sophistication.

Hear this song at one of Paint It Black’s two record release shows, Jan. 5 or Jan. 6 at the First Unitarian Church; catch the Jan. 5 matinee and get yourself a free copy of New Lexicon.

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