Every Time I Die

The Big Dirty

Written by: PP on 11/09/2007 04:11:45

I've always had enormous difficulty getting into Every Time I Die. I've never been able to become friends with Keith Buckley's ugly half screamed half yelled vocal style, despite it being unique even in today's saturated music scene, which is kind of strange considering I have no problem with a band like Converge screaming their lungs out in what can only be described as horrendous manner. I can't quite put it into words what it is, but a combination of lack of melody and snobby aggression in his voice (see him perform live and you'll understand what I mean) is a part of it. But even so I was able to appreciate songs like "Bored Stiff" and "Apocalypse Now And Then" from their critically acclaimed 2005 album "Gutter Phenomenon". In my review of it, I wrote that the band had no identity, while that may have been slightly overdoing it, I still had a point, because today I only remember one other song from that album on top of the aforementioned two: "The New Black".

"The Big Dirty", the band's new album, continues point blank where the previous one left off, building on the uncontrollable rhythms and chaotic riffs of its predecessor. While the sound may have grown more aggressive and the song structures even more complicated than they were before, the same problem persists: the songs still sound too much alike. The tempo and time-signature changes are scattered everywhere and little effort is made to group certain kind of breakdowns to certain kind of songs. It all just sounds really unorganized. In the midst of the angular guitars and harsh breakdowns, the core of the songs is just too limited for my taste, which again is kind of paradoxical since usually this type of music makes it into my favorites list of the year.

Fortunately, after the fifth track the band kicks another gear in and things start finally getting interesting. "Rebel Without Applause" shatters your room into pieces, and "Cities And Years" is just so in your face aggressive you can't help but like it a little. "Rendez-Voodoo" is unorthodixically groovy for the band, making me think that Keith & co have been paying a few too many visits to the studio of their label colleagues Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster while they were writing "II" last year.

Song after song, the album starts topping itself as it progresses, but it happens too late. The bad impression from the first four tracks leaves the tongue-in-cheek humour and unserious attitude of the rest of the album in its shadow, and what could've been a fun album turns into a painful listen, at least for the undersigned. Granted, "The Big Dirty" doesn't sound much different from "Gutter Phenomenon", so if you were a fan of the band back then, I see no reason why you wouldn't like this one as well. But at the same time, it's not going to convert you if you found "Gutter Phenomenon" just a tad bit too southern rock to be a great hardcore/metalcore hybrid. Although Every Time I Die possesses a sound one could define as their signature sound, an unmistakable one you will always attach only to this band, that doesn't always warrant for great ratings in reviews. To me, "The Big Dirty" still sounds like ETID are searching for something. Lets hope they find it in the future.


Download: INRIhab, Rebel Without Applause, Cities And Years
For the fans of: Maylene & The Songs Of Disaster, He Is Legend, Poison The Well, The Chariot
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.09.2007
Ferret Records

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