Every Time I Die

New Junk Aesthetic

Written by: PP on 25/10/2009 21:33:00

I've never really understood the hype about Every Time I Die. I own every one of their records and while they've all been good releases in the genre, I've never managed to become good friends with the southern fried, riff-driven groovecore (hardcore with groove, heh) that is the signature Every Time I Die sound. But "New Junk Aesthetic", the bands fifth full length album and their first for Epitaph, is an entirely different story. It's one of the best releases this year, and in short, I'd just like to throw it out there that it might be the best album of it's kind since Norma Jean's "Redeemer". Yeah, it's really that good. In fact, the sheer quality isn't the only thing in common with the two records, but we'll talk about that soon.

"We are the death of the party, we are the life of the funeral" screams Keith Buckley on the brilliant album opener "Roman Holiday", and fucking hell his vocals have become excellent since 2007's "Big Dirty". It's now possible to hear every word crystal clear as he tears his throat apart at them, effectively making his voice sound like a barrel full of TNT's at exploding point in the process. "The Marvelous Slut" follows suit as a breakneck hardcore piece with plenty of groovy riffs and quirky lyrics, even throwing in a few horror chorded breakdown sections to solidify the already frightening power that Buckley comes at us with his repeated "If death comes it best come quick" lines. Fact is, just like in the best songs of Norma Jean's "Redeemer", "New Junk Aesthetic" is full similar attention-grabbing repeat-one liners.

"Wanderlust" is the catchiest track on the record, even featuring some strained clean vocals, but we're still in an ultra-aggressive field of music which leaves the listener feeling like a truck just ran over him - twice. "For The Record", for example, has a section that could be inspired by The Chariot, as the song crashes down into a huge breakdown and Buckley screams "LORD HAVE MERCYYYYY ON MY SOUL, I'VE HAD A GOOD RUN BUT CAN'T RUN ANYMORE, JUST PUT ME DOWN" repeatedly, as if to command the listener to sit down and listen, bitch. And just when you thought the storm couldn't intensify any further, the appropriately titled "Organ Grinder" makes you feel like small as it thrashes its way through your skull like an elephant in a porcelain store. Cliché expression I know, but it's the best way to describe the utter chaos that ensues especially in the latter part of the fiercely anti-Christian song, when Buckley breaks down into a multiply repeated scream "JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE AFRAID OF THE DARK, DOESN'T MEAN THAT IT'S FRIGHTENED OF YOU". Think the most ferocious Norma Jean song, and multiply it by three. Yeah, I'm serious.

"Turtles All The Way Down" calms things down a bit into a medium paced sound to add variety to the record, allowing Buckley's quirky lyricism to truly shine. Many of his songs are like little stories, like little windows offering a glimpse of his perspective and world view, and because of his amazing delivery and crystal clear production, you don't have to grab the lyrics book to double check what you just heard. But it'd be pointless to start listing more lyrics than I already have, because pretty much every song has a similar key line that'll stick to your memory long after you're done listening to the record. "Host Disorder", "Buffalo 666", and "Goddamn Kids These Days" are just a few examples of how great vocal delivery combined with groove riffs can make songs truly shine.

But overall the record sees Every Time I Die tone down on the groove department in favour of a more vicious, ferocious, bombastic sound of their early albums "Hot Damn!" and "Last Night In Town". That doesn't mean the music isn't riff-driven still, because it very much is, but this time around the band has noticed that the real show-stoppers are those type of tracks which make you feel like you're standing in the middle of a massive explosion taking place. And the change is definitely for the good. If you weren't an Every Time I Die fan before, "New Junk Aesthethic" is the album that'll make you one. It's a career defining release - to call it genre-defining wouldn't be out of place - and one that'll be looked upon as a classic in years to come. This one will be brutally dangerous to your health at gigs, watch out for your limbs when Every Time I Die comes to town.

Download: Roman Holiday, Organ Grinder, For The Record, Wanderlust
For the fans of: Norma Jean, The Chariot, Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, The Hottness
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.09.2009
Epitaph

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