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September 26, 2013 - Nicholas Terry
Back in February of 2008, I was newly in love with my now wife. And what is more romantic than going with your girlfriend, best friend, and one of her best friends, to a goth club in the heart of Philadelphia for a glorious event called Dracula’s Ball? If you’re a music nerd like we are, not much. The whole trip was a time I’ll never forget. Derek not wanting to fill the gas tank because it’d weigh the car down too much, corset shopping in the most interesting of boutiques, walking 20 blocks through the ghetto because we didn’t know where anything was (who had smartphones or GPS in 2008? Not some poor college students like us) and getting directions to some of the best restaurants and places in town by a lovely young women who just happened to be walking through the park we were in on her way home from work. The best plans are often the ones that are made spontaneously.
We also stopped at no less than two record shops where I spent too much money. I did walk away with two albums off Philadelphia’s own Paint It Black and The Loved Ones, who just happened to be releasing albums that week. The Loved Ones, “Build and Burn” is an album that has gotten me through a lot and in my eyes is a perfect melodic punk record. Check it out if you get a chance, but I’m reserving this space for a different beast all together.
Paint It Black is a hardcore band in the most traditional sense. They create a wall of sound that demands you to listen. Their singer and lyricist, Dan Yemin, also holds a PhD in psychology and is a practicing child and teen psychologist in Philadelphia, so he’s got something to say. Dr. Dan, who he is occasionally affectionately known as by fans, has created a band that operate within a genre that is typically limiting to the musician and lyricists. Instead of being confined to a genre, they push the limits of what they can do in a minute in a half. How do you get more music and lyrics into that time frame? Play it faster, sing it louder.
Dan Yemin’s voice is rough at first listen or to those unfamiliar with heavy music, but unlike others, his words can always be understood no matter the rage behind them. They take on topics such as women’s rights, drug use, religion, and the human condition. Things people don’t typically like to talk about. If you’ve got a voice and a platform, you might as well stand for something positive. I love this band because they play aggressive music, but they don’t play violent music. It’s interesting how fine of line that is. Everyone needs a way to let off emotions in a healthy way.
Some people exercise, some people write, some people vent to others, some people listen to music. The most cathartic experience I’ve ever had was in a room with a bunch of other sweaty individuals singing songs at a punk show. That, and maybe seeing Ben Nichols play the song “Mom” live just after my mother had passed away. Music is a powerful thing. It comes in many forms, and I’m continually grateful to bands of all shapes and sizes from all over the world who make music that impacts lives more than they ever planned on.
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