While I have the first three Paint It Black full lengths, this is the first time I’ve seen them branch out into EP territory. This is a format that suits their style of hardcore very well, actually. Paint It Black plays modern day youth crew-influenced hardcore with a bit more melodic edge that shows the pedigree of singer Dan Yemin’s years playing guitar in Kid Dynamite. While none of the three previous efforts could be mistaken as mellow, it seems that Yemin’s vocals manage to be even more unrestrained and throat shredding than before. This is really apparent on the opening track, “Salem,” which is a very pointed condemnation of the religious right’s influence on society. This may be the heaviest and angriest track I’ve heard the band lay down yet. The song begins with a heavy, plodding near drone which leads to a fast midsection before returning to some slow heaviness and ending with Yemin, unaccompanied, yelling of what sounds like the death sentence of the right-wing establishment. I’ll be honest and state that this style of hardcore can get a little tedious at length, and there are times where I’ve caught myself losing focus when listening to the band’s earlier full lengths from end to end. The brevity of an EP really helps to focus Paint It Black’s attack to a few powerful, short but sweet, bursts.
–Adrian (Bridge Nine)