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February 29, 2008

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Few musicians have a pedigree like that of New Jersey's own Dan Yemin. An influential member of Kid Dynamite and Lifetime, Yemin takes over vocal responsibilities in the Philly-based Paint It Black.

While the band's third release, New Lexicon (Jade Tree Records), won't turn the punk-rock genre on its ear, it is unparalleled in its fury and aggression.

New Lexicon boasts noticeable upgrades in multiple departments, including production. Oktopus, of industrial hip-hop act Dälek, controls the boards and arms the record with a real "wall of sound" vibe, not unlike his other work. The production is downright abrasive. It's different from anything released in the genre and works well, with the exception of pointless, white noise passages that appear toward the end of selected tracks that halt the pace of the record.

The album is extremely well written. It's lyrically top-notch and the group blends their raw power with the occasional melodic stanza with ease. "Past Tense, Future Perfect" is a prime example and "White Kids Dying Of Hunger" is instantly jarring with its opening lines of "What will it take to wake you up / what will it take to fucking shake you up!"

But the group suffers pacing issues and spends more time than usual on slower, chunkier riffs. New Lexicon is a full 10 minutes longer than their first two efforts and, for a band whose main draw is their urgency, it's slightly crippling.

Make no mistake. This CD kicks all sorts of ass. Few bands execute with such a sense of anger and passion as Paint It Black does. New Lexicon isn't an instant classic like Paradise or CVA, but it still reeks of importance and shouldn't be ignored.

The Daily Targum

Dan Perrone