Reviews Paint It Black Paradise

Paint It Black


CVA was fucking perfect. Naysayers beware: I am willing to defend that position. A hardcore supergroup of sorts (combining members of The Curse, Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, and Good Riddance), Paint It Black released one of the best melodic hardcore albums I've ever heard. I'm a sucker for melody and I'm a sucker for speed. They combined them with such precision and passion that, needless to say, I had unreasonably and irrationally high expectations for this album. Would they be able to top it? Could they still create an album rooted heavily in punk without falling into every cliche that the scene seems to worship?

By the time the feedback of opener "Election Day" faded away, the pick scrapes rushed in, and the galloping bass dominated my eardrums, I had a feeling I wasn't going to be disappointed. Tying together themes of disappointment, political dissent, and dissatisfaction, the boys are a bit less posi this time around, but do not fret! Paradise is a fantastic album of dirty, catchy, and frantic hardcore that's more concerned with speed than chugga-chugga breakdowns or crew call outs. Dan Yemin's gravelly vocal stylings nicely compliment the sound. The interesting part about this album is how, while still playing essentially the same style of music, Paint It Black manage to incorporate varying sonic elements to strive for something more unique. "Ghosts" and "Panic' resemble earlier Hot Water Music (which is a good thing), while "Atheists in Foxholes" reminds me of jazzy, latter-period Black Flag (which is also a good thing). In certain respects, this album is a lot heavier; check out the staccato breakdown in "Burn the Hive" or the balls-out thrash approach of "Labor Day." There's less melody on the album vocally, but I think the instruments compensate for that. Newcomer Collin McGinniss is fantastic!

Paradise reminds me why I fell in love with punk in the first place. It's got the speed. It's got the subversive lyrics. It's got a great rhythm section, though would expect nothing less from Dave Wagenschutz anyways. But it's also really intelligent, structurally and lyric-wise. This isn't your ordinary street punk or your run-of-the-mill youth crew. This is emotional, cathartic, in-your-face, and one of the best releases of 2005.

9.0 / 10Mark
KFAI - Undead
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Jade Tree


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