Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
Every Time I Die
Written by: MIN on 24/10/2016 15:59:29
Southern-fried hardcore outfit Every Time I Die from Buffalo, NY has been riding on quite the wave album-wise since the release of 2009’s ”New Junk Aesthetic”, with every new release scoring high on this webzine, and the band’s latest album, “Low Teens”, is no exception — in fact, it probably stands out as the culmination of the seven year-high. But although all of this sounds pretty darn good, it emanates from vocalist Keith Buckley’s worst nightmare. In 2015 Keith’s wife was having trouble in labor, and the lyrics on “Low Teens” were primarily conjured during the darkest hours of the main man’s life. Understandably, this shines through on a record where Every Time I Die are at their most vulnerable.
”Though it may haunt us and break our hearts // Death cannot tear us apart” — such are the dreadful opening lines to “Low Teens” on the song “Fear and Trembling”, which has a crushingly heavy riff and Buckley laying out an impressive vocal delivery that’ll have you jumping out of your seat already. Crank up your stereo and make sure that your record player has a sustainable foundation beneath it, for this is only the beginning; the second song, “Glitches”, serves as a faster and just as punishing thrust through the solar plexus as any you’re likely to have heard from the band since 2003’s “Hot Damn!”. The next few songs offer a dramatic change of pace as “C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)” and “Two Summers” introduce more clean vocals and a slicker, groovier approach than the relentlessness shown a few minutes ago. Although the prior piece took some getting used to, instrumentally, the lyrics on display are some of the most honest you’ll hear from the band: ”I tried to plead with your machines" and ”I’m gonna need another universe // I tore mine apart”, which date back to when Buckley could do nothing more in the hospital than wait and hope for the best.
But talking of songs that don’t drive by the usual 180 miles an hour, “It Remembers” probably serves as the best song on the album. The collaboration with Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco is slow, dirty and soulful. It almost sounds like Every Time I Die trying to make a Queens of the Stone Age song, and you can almost envision the desert when you hear the dusty guitar riff pull the song forward. Behind it lies some of the album’s most noticeable drum work as well, with some impressive fills by newcomer Daniel Davison showing his prowess. But what probably stand out the most in the track are the incredible harmonies created by Urie and Buckley, swooning and seducing you more than a bottle of the finest wine. I assure you, when these two guys cry out ”Buuuuurn sloooooow // There’s noooo rush” by the end of the song, you’ll feel as intoxicated as if you’d taken part in the booze-infused self-destruction they depict.
First single “The Coin Has a Say” has already proven its worth as a sure-fire concert-staple from the get-go, but the following track, “Religion of Speed” is more puzzling. It sees the band take on a sound not unlike that of Mastodon on ”Crack the Skye”, instantly making me think of the first few chords to “Divinations” off that record. Half a minute into the song, we tread familiar ETID-territory, but after the chorus there is a sludgy feeling with Buckley presenting some deep, guttural vocals. Stephen Micciche’s bass lines during this part are impeccable, and see him deviate further from the guitar notes than is usual in this band’s music. The following chaotic rocker “Just as Real but Not as Brightly Lit” then throttles the speed again after the ending of “Religion of Speed” has just devastated the listener with its heaviness. “Just as Real…” really lets Jordan Buckley and Andrew Williams prove what they’re worth, as it’s a total riff-fest with one tasty lick and groove after the other.
What truly sets this album apart from what else the band’s done, though, is the lyricism. I cannot emphasize this enough. The band has always had a knack for throwing in some awesome one-liners, but here it’s constantly praiseworthy. If the darkness didn’t shroud you yet, then album-closer “Map Change” surely will as it serves as the saddest part of the record with Keith Buckley crooning ”I’ve weighed down the earth”, making the emptiness close in on you as the song reaches its climax before fading away. “Low Teens” is the kind of album that will have you jumping around in your living room with your best friends and a six-pack of brewskis, screaming along to every line whilst not knowing whether it’s beer or another teardrop that’s traced itself down your cheek. Every Time I Die has created the perfect party album that’ll have even the most cynical hardcore fans think twice about their own existence before the album’s loosened its grip on them.
Download: Glitches, It Remembers, The Coin Has a Say, Map Change
For The Fans Of: Norma Jean, The Damned Things, The Chariot, Cancer Bats, Mastodon
Release date 23.09.2016