Published Jun 22, 2009It seems as though Paint It Black can do no wrong. The Philadelphia hardcore group fronted by Dan Yemin (Lifetime, Kid Dynamite) have continually challenged the musical boundaries and stereotypes associated with modern hardcore. Their three albums thus far - 2003's CVA, 2005's Paradise and 2008's New Lexicon - have been exercises in unbridled aggression coupled with subtle musical exploration (see New Lexicon's bass-heavy song structure or Paradise's super-melodic choruses). Come 2009, the band have taken a sharp left turn and decided to focus strictly on seven-inches from this point forward. The first of two expected this year is Amnesia. Once again, Paint It Black are angry as hell. It's one of the heaviest collections of songs they've released yet. While the first four songs are quick bursts, all clocking in around the one-and-a-half-minute mark, the album closes with "Bliss," a three-and-a-half-minute romp that's longer than nearly any three of the band's other songs combined. It shows Paint it Black willing to fill songs with instrumentation rather than breakdowns. Other tracks on the album hold their own, especially "Nicotine" and "Homesick." Paint it Black certainly aren't for everyone but anyone with even an ounce of interest in hardcore should find a laundry list of reasons to keep Amnesia in heavy rotation.
You said you've grown tired of the LP format and plan to release only seven-inches for the foreseeable future. How come?
Yemin: We just wanted to take a different approach to how we write and release music. The seven-inch EP has always been the ideal format for presenting hardcore punk, and I'm just sad that it took us this long to take our cues from history in this particular way. I'm tired of the album format for several reasons: it takes a lot of patience to write, record and promote a full-length album and I'm beginning to feel like the process of creating an entire album slows us down in a lot of ways, and might be more of an obstacle for us at this point. I'm not getting any younger and don't want to wait another two-and-a-half years to release new music. Then there's the issue of sound quality. I've always thought that the vinyl versions of our albums sound so much better than the CD versions.
The last song on Amnesia, "Bliss," is a three-and-a-half-minute romp that's longer than three average Paint It Black songs combined. How'd you come to write it?
Starting with "Paradise," we've made a concerted effort to make Paint it Black a band that could express the full range of our musical influences while keeping our roots firmly planted in the traditions of hardcore punk. The verse for "Bliss" had been banging around in my head for a couple of years but I'd been sort of stuck on where it could go from there. One day, I was playing guitar and I just heard the key change in my head and the remainder of the song unfolded in about half-an-hour. (Sinistresound)