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.

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