Past Tense Future Perfect(ion)

I came to a realization yesterday about New Lexicon (Jade Tree 2008), the latest album by hardcore band Paint It Black.

Now, if you know me, you know how much I love this band. One of the best hardcore bands in recent years…hell, EVER, to put out a record, with killer live shows, a great attitude…just the whole package. I’m not gonna lie, I have a bit of a man-crush on frontman Dan Yemin, who’se also been in the phenomenal Lifetime and Kid Dynamite (where he played guitar), and even occasionally pops up (on bass) in Armalite. I flip my shit in general for Paint It Black. The end.

So after Paradise (produced by the great J Robbins), their second album and one of the best hardcore albums EVER came out, not only did I rock that shit forever, but I also started immediately psyching myself out on the next one. I mean, Paradise was a dozen steps up from their first album CVA (also a great album), so I couldn’t wait.

And then New Lexicon came…

And I went “meh”.

I mean, it was good. But that’s basically it, on first and second listen and third listen…and so on. Just “good”. CVA and Paradise blew me away , especially Pardise. But New Lexicon just didn’t do it for me. I don’t know if it was the production, the songs themselves…it was the same Paint It Black I know, the same lyrics, it was just that something just didn’t click right away the first two albums did. So it was just “good”. Not really worth the consistant, almost daily spins that the other two got when they first came out and continue to do to this day (I’ll go on a weeklong PIB binge sometimes, maybe once a month or two).

But in the past two or three days I’ve given it another few spins, and surprisingly (not really, I mean this band is fucking insane) it’s gotten better. I still don’t think it’s utterly fantastic like Paradise, but it’s better than “good”. The chances the band took on the songwriting and the shared production between themselves, J Robbins (again) and Oktopus from the hip-hop group Dalek (I know, weird, right) shines more here. Robbins’ bare-bones but bass-heavy and raw production, which is what made Paradise such a great record, is still there in New Lexicon. Combining it with the way the instrumental parts play around some more here (Oktopus’s input, I’d guess), it’s subtlely great.

In fact, it’s officially changed in my book. New Lexicon by Paint It Black is not “fantastic”, but not just “good”. It’s great. Which is pretty cool regardless.


About Costa

Writer. College professor.
This entry was posted in hardcore, Paint It Black, punk, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Past Tense Future Perfect(ion)

  1. dan says:

    I think all of us who love punk & hardcore and know who Dan Yemin have a man crush on him. I have gotten to know him and he is one of the most genuine straight up great people in the scene.

  2. dan says:

    Sorry, but you are insane this is their best record to date. This is the best record I have heard in years.

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