It’s been not quite three years since Toronto social activist Robb Johannes founded Paint, bringing Mandy Dunbar, Marcus Warren, and Andre Dey into the group, and they have already released one full album Can You Hear Me? Since that 2009 debut, only a dozen or so of their more than one hundred live shows have been played outside of Ontario, but it should be hoped that further travels are looming in the near future. Paint is a band full of fight and passion – in an upbeat non-aggressive sense. The standard composition in how songs build up does not take too much away from the crisp and confident feel. Plus, when the singer has a style to match the punk style, the music can’t go too far astray! As Johannes is an activist the lyrics reflect with a nice leftist political flare, not overwhelmingly noticeable, but a tinge that is easy to catch if it’s searched out; “Lack of foresight, lack of insight” or “‘I’m not afraid of change’ he said,” for example. My personal favorite of all the pointed word combinations was the rhyming of “scoundrel love affairs” with “po-lice with trigger fingers” in “If The Walls Could Talk.” These attempts at inspirational lyrics, which aim for meaning rather than how they roll off the tongue, are where Paint’s second LP could set them apart from other bands. (Independent, PaintBand.com) Jesse Blackman
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