Paint It Black - CVA (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Paint It Black

CVA (2003)

Jade Tree

The simplest way to describe Paint It Black's debut CVA is the title of one of the tracks on their Jade Tree debut: "Less Deicide, More Minor Threat"

Just like Lifetime and Kid Dynamite took their cues from early melodic hardcore like Gorilla Biscuits and Dag Nasty, Paint It Black is influenced by hardcore like early Minor Threat. Take that as a warning; if your favourite Kid Dynamite songs were the melodic and poppy tracks, Paint It Black might not be for you. But if you still can't give up your copies of "In God We Trust, Inc." or "Out of Step" then Paint It Black's "CVA" will be a breath of fresh air.

Without nary a track clocking over two minutes, and most barely hitting the one minute mark, there is no hint of prentention on indulgence. This is pure energy captured in plastic, and is a refreshing achievement for Dan Yemin and his third band, and frankly, his third amazing project.

Even more surprising considering Dan came up with Paint It Black while recovering from a stroke; rather than rolling over and giving up on music - something no one would be able to fault him for - he came back with his hardest work to date.

The title of the record "CVA" refers to cerebrovascular accident, the medical terminology for a stroke, and completely belies the fury and power on the record, which is of a musician who seems to consistently be in his prime. From the first of the seventeen songs, there is nary a let up in the sardonic lyrics, razor sharp instrumentation or blazing drumming.

I don't want to write a review that will take you longer to read then the record will take to listen to, so I'll keep it short. Paint It Black is both an homage to the classics of early hardcore, and a testament to the incredible strength of will and talent of the members. If you're at all a fan of Dan's work, or hardcore in any sense, you would be crazy to pass this up.

I'll leave you with something Dan posted to the website:

    "In April of 2001 I had a stroke. I was really lucky and survived with minimal damage. Facing death is terrifying and I don't wish it on anyone, especially when you're young. It can be emotionally paralyzing, and can leave you feeling very fragile.

    When you feel fragile there's a temptation to live life too cautiously, so that even when you survive you live like you're half-dead. For me the experience put life in a new perspective and humbled me. I gained a new understanding of what was important to me and what concerns were trivial and not worthy of my time and effort. Unfortunately it also left me emotionally crippled for awhile, because I was so afraid of feeling fragile and weak that I shut down my feelings altogether for a couple of months. As I shook myself awake from that emotional numbness, I started taking steps to put this band together, after over a year away from music.

    Thanks to Dave W., Dave H., Spider, Andy and Matt for helping me come full circle in my recovery. This band is the sound of survival. "