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May 9, 2008

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Ah, back to the Roboto Project. For a show that was advertised as 6 SHARP! Sunday night, seeing it not getting started until 6:45, with a roughly 9 p.m. end time was disappointing. After a guestlist mix up with MODERN LIFE IS WAR the last time I went, I figured lightning wouldn't strike twice in the same place, right? Wrong. I strode confidently into Roboto, replying to the volunteer working the door that I was on PAINT IT BLACK's list, only to hear that PAINT IT BlACK didn't bring a list.

Therefore, in ironing out the guestlist errors, I missed THE STATIC TRANSISTOR's entire set (it sounded like a fledgling hardcore band, without the crowd baiting mosh moments and copious screaming.) and most of KIM PHUC's performance (which, once inside, still sounded like a fledgling hardcore band, but was energetic enough to stand muster), which didn't sound bad, so much as generic. I'd heard it before, which meant that when the vocalist was screaming in the face of the crowd and there was no reaction, a "meh" reaction was all I could drudge up.

CLOAK/DAGGER fell victim to the same problem, which was a odd set, spearheaded by Jason Mazzola, carrying the microphone stand with him as he howled his way through the set and sea of "we have no idea what's going on here" faces (you could see the look of fear in PAINT IT BLACK's eyes as they watched the crowd watch CLOAK/DAGGER), ex-TRIAL BY FIRE guitarist held down the fuzzed out guitar sound that the full length we are showcases. Comparisons to HOT SNAKES are even more on the money, even if it sounds like CLOAK/DAGGER is somehow more frantic than that band.

Pastepunk as a whole is pretty fawning to Dr. Yemin's musical projects, and I'm no different, so waiting to see PAINT IT BLACK for the second time (the first time was before Paradise was released) I was going to try to maintain my reviewer composure, but that lasted about the first verse of "the Ledge" and after that, it was pretty much a lost cause. PAINT IT BLACK had maybe 10 dedicated fans, and the rest of the venue (maybe another 20 people) joined in for a couple more popular songs (read: the ones on MySpace), with THE STATIC TRANSISTOR vocalist getting in the fray for some of the mic shares and sing alongs. (For that matter, Memorial Day might be PAINT IT BLACK's Can We Start Again, soooooo huge...)

Sadly, there was no tree diving at this concert, which undoubtedly was a hard moment to top for Mr. Agran, Shevelson and Nelson, but if there was a comparison in their minds, they didn't show it, alternately smiling, screaming and sweating during the blistering set.

I might have chosen different songs (Angel and not Labor Day? Seriously? White Kids Dying of Hunger and not Shell Game Redux... or the Beekeeper) but as I watched Mr. Yemin drop the microphone that had been cutting out periodically during the set and just scream Atticus Finch for the band's final song in the faces of the crowd, who reciprocated with great aplomb, for 35-40 minutes, there wasn't a world outside Roboto, (Even the guy working the door was getting in on the gang vocals!) and that was more than enough.

Paste Punk

James Hepplewhite