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August 19, 2003

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Sometimes I get the feeling that certain releases are almost too good to be true. Like this one for instance. I think one day I'm gonna wake up, open to the cd case to "CVA" and see a gelatinous pile of goo, obvious not fit for use in my stereo. "That's it Jordan - it was all a lie, you will listen to the hardcore no more." Of course, I wouldn't hesitate a moment and would procure another copy of this disc as soon as possible. Unlike the pretty-good, but ultimately not-as-satisfying KID DYNAMITE offshoot NONE MORE BLACK, PAINT IT BLACK rage and destroy with a tenacity and spitfire instinct that is truly awe-inspiring. This band chews through 17 songs in a shade under 19 minutes, and it's virtually breathtaking. The music on here is tied so taut that any extra second would seem unnecessary. Many of the song structures here feel practically lifted from KID DYNAMITE in terms of familarity, but the harsh, muscular vocals of Dr. Yemin give PAINT IT BLACK its true identity. For the last few years, I really haven't heard a vocalist manage to sound so bitter in delivery, but Yemin captures his anger in a way that few could channel.

One of the special perks of this disc is how the sound is totally old-school hardcore, like early Revelation Records material, but with modern production (re: this disc sounds like a monster!). No, this isn't to say that PAINT IT BLACK sounds like JUDGE, but it's clearly a small trip back about 15 years. The other thing that sets PAINT IT BLACK into elite territory is the passionate, fiery, personal lyrics. Whether it's confronting anti-semitism on "The Insider," or revisiting the spirit and legacy of LIFETIME on "The Fine Art of Falling Apart," Yemin's lyrical conviction is always spot on and gutsy. These are lyrics that are able to be embraced and shouted along to, not like any of the sappy school-yard shit that's devoid of any lasting relevancies.

It's mind-boggling how many stunning hardcore releases Jade Tree has put out in their tenure, and "CVA" ranks up their with the best them. Fight mediocrity in hardcore - listen to PAINT IT BLACK.

Paste Punk

Jordan A. Baker