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
bands.

"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."

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