To be honest, Every Time I Die are underground heroes of sort. Those who like them really do like them and those who don’t know who the band are will probably like them; Especially now, after the release of ’Ex Lives’, which is sure to absolutely annihilate the ear drums of many and ‘tear a new one’ into the new one that has just been teared.
‘Ex Lives’ is an absolute tour-de-force of ferocity, monstrosity and even plenty of melody. Keith Buckley’s time spent working on The Damned Things certainly brought about that singing voice he had locked within him and it’s given a clean debut in the form of an Every Time I Die album. Clean cut vocals over the destructive force of the band with a prime example being most recent released track ‘Revival Mode’ as well as the ending of ‘Drag King’ singing ‘what does he have that I don’t’ really does open up a wide variety of options for the band.
Of course, Keith’s much loved shouting is still found throughout and his lyrics are as cryptic as ever. And with the absolutely impeccable production of this album it’s certainly the best that the band have ever sounded on any of their records. The riffs are sounding killer and the unbelievable tightness of these riffs (provided as always from Andy and Jordan) glued to the blasts and beats of new sticksman Ryan ‘Legs’ Leger provides a whole new groove of absolutely awesome riffs that will get that head of yours banging like the band always pull off.
Musically, I do think Ryan Leger plays a huge part. A new, revived energy that brings a certain angry, adolescent youth out from the band and the double time used on this album is welcomed with open arms, fitting the band so well. It helps to solidify their insane progression of each riff being blasted out into this monstrous wall of sound that is so well crafted in terms of musicianship and production (listen to that tasty groove at 0.41 on ‘Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow’ to get a true understanding of what I mean)
This is clearly Every Time I Die at their best and paves a path for the band to follow. One that will certainly raise them above their peers at being absolutely astounding in what they do. Everybody else should stand back as this is how it’s done.
‘Ex Lives’ by Every Time I Die is available now through Epitaph Records.
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Words by Michael Brown