Now this is how hardcore is supposed to be played: fast, loud, and pissed off. From beginning to end this disc is brutal. You’ll find no sissy, emo bullshit here. This is 17 songs in well under 20 minutes, or “fuckin’ quick” as some may like to call it. “But wait,” you may ask, “Isn’t this on Jade Tree?” Yes, the album does happen to be on Jade Tree, a label associated more with mellow, moody music. I suppose the owners finally decided to drop the sensitive guy façade and bust out the Nikes and Judge shirts and get down. And in case anyone is wondering, yes, that is Dan from Kid Dynamite/Lifetime and David from Good Riddance.
Pretty much any hardcore scenester is bound to like something from CVA. For the So Cal. and DC kids who are still stuck in the 80s, there are more circle pit songs than it is even possible to shake a stick at. As mentioned before, there are 17 songs in about as many minutes. I think that fact speaks for itself. And for the Good Riddance and Kid Dynamite groupies who were hoping this album was something along the lines of their older stuff, don’t fret, there are still melodic pieces thrown here and there. The music actually isn’t even far off from those bands, maybe just a little faster and with more thrashy singing. Oh yeah, and for the East Coast moshers, there are plenty of breakdowns for you to exhibit your dancing skills. Hey, maybe you’ll even learn how to circle pit better from the So Cal/DC kids.
I realize there are still some people out there that would ask, “What separates this album from other hardcore releases?” Well, for starters, Paint it Black decided that writing an entire album about unity, backstabbing friends, and/or selling out is lame. OK, well that’s not entirely true. However, the songs are cleverly disguised with puns, misleading song titles, and classic Dan Yemin wit. Basically, this could have been the lyrics to a new Kid Dynamite CD had they not broken up. Speaking of KD, there is a song about bands breaking up. Strangely enough, the members of Kid Dynamite are not listed in the “dedicated to” footnote in the lyrics sheet. Regardless, the song is definitely one of the best in a sea of soon-to-be hardcore classics.
It won’t be too long before this band becomes one of the biggest hardcore bands around. CVA is a very solid debut and stands on its own very well. Dan Yemin is already respected for his previous outings and Paint it Black is icing on the cake. Expect very big things from this band very soon, especially once the band refines their sound just a little bit more.