Paint it Black released New Lexicon on Tuesday.
This album is amazing. Here’s my review.
I work at an ice rink as a rink guard and instead of opting to listen to XM’s top 20 songs over the loudspeaker everyday, I hide my iPod headphones under my hood and skate around in circles enjoying my favorite music. Paint it Black’s third release, New Lexicon, came out last Tuesday, so by last Thursday I was awkwardly moving around on the ice as my ears told my body to two-step and bounce up and down to the heavy, yet melodic tunes that make up the new album.
Paint it Black is one of Dr. Dan Yemin’s four influential hardcore bands (Kid Dynamite, Paint it Black, Lifetime, and Armalite). Dan Yemin hides behind the guitar in his three other bands, but thank God Paint it Black uses him as their angry and loud, but honest and inspiring voice. In short, Dan Yemin is a badass vocalist. He roars about growing up and loosing friends on “The Beekeeper”, blind faith in religion on “White Kids Dying of Hunger”, and simply dispenses his everyday anger into each of the 15 tracks on the album. Yemin’s lyrics, although deep and sometimes difficult to decipher, are easy to relate to and encouraging. While the music can be super tough and heavy at times, the comfort of knowing Dr. Dan understands what you’re going through is prominent and might put a smile on your bouncing and two-stepping face. On “The Beekeeper” he ends with the lyrics “Live fast (but don’t die young)/ Slow down, but never, ever stop.” Aww, thanks for the encouragement, Dr. Dan. Maybe he’s so good at relating to others and understanding emotions because he has a PhD in psychology – he is a practicing child psychologist. While he tends to scream throughout the album, there are a couple fun “whoa-oh’s” on the tracks “New Folk Song” and “Shell Game Redux” to give it an extra tinge of melody. He’s been inspired by early hardcore bands such as Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, and Black Flag, and now his bands have all been inspiration for my generation.
Although Dr. Dan Yemin is considered a hero to many, the other members of Paint it Black do their part to create the genius sounds on the new album. While some would probably brush it off as just another hardcore band and say that each song sounds the same, I believe Paint it Black has a very distinguishable sound. They tend to be very bass-heavy while often using the guitar for harmonics to counter the bass. In some songs, the guitar seems to be strummed sporadically, as if guitarist Josh Agron hadn’t planned on when he was going to play until getting to the chorus. Paint it Black proves that you don’t need a lot of guitar to create a heavy sound, just Andy Nelson’s (also backup vocalist) fast bass riffs and a lot of distortion. The drumming from Jared Shavelson ranges in speed throughout the album depending on the effect they’re going for. It tends to be slower during the badass breakdowns and brutal slow verses, but it will speed up along with the guitar during parts that resemble traditional punk riffs. They also collaborated with Oktopus, of hip-hop duo Dalek. Oktopus sprinkled industrial noise throughout the album to give it a little something to set it apart. The sounds aren’t excessive and they add something fun to the mix.
The third release follows 2003’s CVA and 2005’s Paradise, both tough albums to follow, but I think New Lexicon is the best so far.
Check them out at myspace.com/paintitblack.
Oh, just for shits ‘n’ giggles, here is a pic of me freaking out next to Dr. Dan.