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March 8, 2005

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Standout Tracks: ?°»Burn the Hive,’ ?°»Panic’

If there is one label that seems to be doing a near flawless job of keeping punk rock from succumbing to mass marketing and malls, it is Jade Tree Records. As well as offering the politically uncompromising and musically sound Strike Anywhere, Jade Tree brings Paint It Black’s second full length, “Paradise;” a collection of 14 tracks of the same rigid pedigree.

With past members’ bands including Lifetime, None More Black, Kid Dynamite, and Good Riddance, it is no wonder that Paint It Black brings a style of old school hardcore that isn’t either youth crew revivalist nor reliant on breakdowns. Perhaps one of the most straightforward, no-frills albums in recent memory, “Paradise” is characterized by its fast-paced, technical guitars (although there are plenty of tempo changes) and adequate production. Not one song is greater than two minutes, or shorter than one, which is a change from the absolutely furious pace of “CVA,” in which any song that approached a minute was considered long. “Paradise” also differs lyrically from “CVA” with its focus on recent wars and front man Dan Yemin’s divorce, while “CVA” dwelt on Yemin’s reaction to his stroke. The lyrics are strong and well thought-out for the most part and reflect an aspiration for depth and meaning that goes beyond simply condemnation or judgment.

What it comes down to is that Paint It Black actually have delivered a hardcore album with the meaning and drive to be worthy and on par with the classics of old. Lyrically and musically, “Paradise” spares no effort in delivering quality at its finest. “Paradise” explores the roots of hardcore in a way that throws it into today’s punk genre, but that may be just the thing that punk rock needs these days.

Quit My Scene

Kyle Navis