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August 11, 2003

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"If I knew then what I know now, I'd do it all again."
Unsolved Mysteries called. They are curious as to why two ex-Kid Dynamite bands both included the word black in the names of their respective new bands. Maybe it was coincidence; maybe it was discussed over a tasty vegan lunch. Perhaps the world may never know.
Paint It Black is the Dan Yemin-powered punk rock dynamo that has risen from the ashes of the much-loved Philadelphian heroes once known as Kid Dynamite as well as the ultra-copied emo-punk originators called Lifetime. Also included in the band's lineup is David Wagenschutz, the drummer of choice for both of those bands as well as the current version of Good Riddance. The other black band's debut, None More Black's aptly titled File Under Black, pales in comparison to this outfit throughout. Where that disc was bland, this one shreds.
CVA is a record for punk rock fans, a full length that thrashes by and apologizes for absolutely nothing. The whole thing, 17 tracks in all, flies by in an 18-minute blast and then leaves you hitting the play button again for more. Paint It Black sounds like Kid Dynamite minus a lot of the pop and sing alongs, bare bones hardcore meshed with punk that is as hard hitting as it is intelligent. Yemin's rapid-fire vocals spit and growl in your face, simple and smart, yet with quite a bit of meaning. The whole album is reminiscent of punk hardcore's roots and bands that have long since passed. While it's hard to pick favorite tracks on a disc like this, "Atticus Finch" stands out with it's almost-awkward tempo and metallic guitars that give way to a chaotic tempo-change, only to slow back down again.
There's not much else to say about this album, except that it's easily one of the best punk rock records thus fur this year. If you still dig the Descendents' earlier material, you'll eat this one up. Yemin and company have found a great formula that relies on pure force as much as anything else to get their point across. It's something that punk rock is desperately missing these days, an identity other than Hot Topic-induced imagery.
Jade Tree still amazes me. They have this ear for amazing punk rock and continue to put out relevant records in a time when most everyone (Fat Wreck excluded) seems to have forgotten what substance is. Paint It Black is just another band in a long line of great stuff from the label; hold your breath for the Strike Anywhere full length due out later this year.

SN Review