With their latest effort Ex Lives, Every Time I Die have gone from scene staple to seminal outfit. They’ve seemingly earned the prerogative to declare what in the stagnating hardcore scene is wheat, and what is chaff, having dominated the rank-and-file and outlasted the bulk of their contemporaries. Every Time I Die are now the tastemakers, once fighting to establish themselves with albums like Hot Damn! and Gutter Phenomenon. However, the mere fact that ETID is and will forever remain an alt-scene favorite (that is, until Keith Buckley develops cirrhosis) doesn’t excuse their reliance on a now-formulaic tone and overall sound.
Ex Lives, in nearly every sense, simply sounds like an Every Time I Die record—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but take the notion as you will. The overall tonality of the album is almost identical to that of New Junk Aesthetic, the band’s previous effort. And while each song on Ex Lives hits hard in one crushing, amps-at-eleven gut-blow after another, one must wonder about how many of these songs were constructed with respect to their structures and musical conventions. It seems as though the band writes by consistently pulling from a grab bag of heavy riffs and even heavier beats. Consequently, many of the songs on the record blend with each other; they become differentiated only by several points of marked dynamism (see: “Revival Mode,” “Indian Giver”) and the words of Keith Buckley, who remains ETID’s shining gem, a wonderfully competent lyricist and storyteller. In fact, it’s as if many of the songs on this (and most other) Every Time I Die album were constructed around Buckley’s lyrics and their always purposeful phrasing.
Seeing Every Time I Die at a bowling alley. No fucks given
The Chariot - David De La Hoz
There is not enough The Chariot stuff on tumblr.