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March 6, 2005

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Paint It Black's debut, "CVA", was such a fantastic pissed off hardcore album that I was immediately salivating for another, while at the same time hoping Dan Yemin would take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and calm down. With "Paradise", Yemin and co. have helped me overcome my moral dilemma by spitting out a follow-up that satisfies both of my seemingly-contradictory desires.

"Paradise" is less furious than "CVA", but only ever so slightly. Only the most bloodthirsty hardcore listener would find this sophomore effort inadequate in the viciousness department. All that's different this time around is greater variation of tempos (from 'really fast' to just 'pretty fast, basically), and there's some melodyplay happening that was absent from the last batch of songs.

But you can't accuse Dan Yemin of meandering from course too much. The average song length of "Paradise" is still a minute and a half. Every song is over before you know it; in fact, the entire album is over before you know it. So, when a hook hits you, by the time you realize it was even a hook, the song's over and Paint It Black is already storming through the next one. There's no time for catchy verses and sing-along choruses when Paint It Black is at work. Even the catchiest moment, right at the end, when it appears they're finally going to indulge in a rousing sing-along, they sing two bars of it, and then like a lightswitch the whole thing's over.

Well, for certain there's no other band that sounds like Paint It Black, and it's not for any degree of brilliant innovation. Paint It Black play hardcore like hardcore is meant to be played. But they do it with so much character and individuality that it's impossible to lose them in the crowd.



Punk International

Tim Krysko