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March 7, 2008

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Paint It Black's third release with Jade Tree, New Lexicon, shows once again that Philly hardcore is alive and well. New Lexicon promises to be one of the albums to which all other hardcore releases will end up being compared too in 2008. Paint It Black have consistently produced records that not only ooze hardcore cred, but also work to push the bounds of the genre without sounding forced or unsure, and New Lexicon is no exception to that pattern.

New Lexicon features co-production from Oktopus, who you may know better as half of Dälek. The introduction of bits of electronic clatter as well as rich soundscapes from Oktopus adds a whole new and unexpected perspective to the record. This can be heard perhaps most clearly towards the end of "Gravity Wins", where raging guitar feedback slowly transforms into an industrial noise outro. Intensity is this groups middle name, even as the music slows, the energy doesn't subside, giving the listener a half-hour thrill ride that never lets up. "Four Deadly Venoms" and "So Much for Honour Among Thieves" are as grinding and fist-pumping as any hardcore fan could ever ask for.

Of course you should never be surprised that project containing Dan Yemin has released an album that is nothing short of great. With seminal acts such as Lifetime and Kid Dynamite on his resume, Yemin was sure to make Paint It Black a band that would attract a following as well as critical acclaim, and for good reason.

This is a record you should own -- do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars -- go straight to the record store and buy this. By taking a genre and just tweaking it slightly, not destroying it completely, not jamming it somewhere it doesn't fit, but just adding small nuances, Paint It Black have created an excellent record. Whether you are a fan of Yemin's past work, or just a fan of smart hardcore, New Lexicon will not disappoint you.


James Dufendach