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Every Time I Die - Ex Lives (Cover Artwork)

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die: Ex LivesEx Lives (2012)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

From the distorted shrieks that open "Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space," two things become instantly clear: Every Time I Die is back, and they are pissed off. Other than a weird, meandering (but strangely catchy) 20-second clean vocal bit, the track is a full-on rager, and a wonderful way to open.
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From the distorted shrieks that open "Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space," two things become instantly clear: Every Time I Die is back, and they are pissed off. Other than a weird, meandering (but strangely catchy) 20-second clean vocal bit, the track is a full-on rager, and a wonderful way to open Ex Lives, a record that reintroduces the band after a couple years of side projects and relative inactivity. Next up is the even heavier "Holy Book of Dilemma." With its breakneck pace and sporadic blastbeats, the song approaches Dillinger Escape Plan levels of controlled chaos. It is the most intense song the band has written in years. All of this takes place in the first four minutes of the album.

The intensity level doesn't stay quite that high throughout the rest of Ex Lives, but there are some moments that come pretty close. "The Low Road has No Exits" is the closest to a straight up thrash metal song Every Time I Die has ever gotten, showing plenty of Slayer and Anthrax influence, especially during the verses. The band's identity shines through thanks to some classic Keith Buckley one-liners, however. It's hard to imagine a line like "From the cradle to the grave / It has been a walk of shame" appearing on Reign in Blood.

Buckley's sharp-witted lyrics have always been a highlight of Every Time I Die's music, and that holds true on Ex Lives. Lines like "Separate hearts are the whole of the law" from "Holy Book of Dilemma," and damn near all of "Typical Miracle," which opens with "I need a new rock bottom / I gotta find a more loving back alley / I'm bored as hell in Sodom / And it's just another dry county" are sure to be plastered all over Facebook statuses sooner than later.

While for the most part Every Time I Die sticks with what it does best on Ex Lives, there are a few experiments. The band intertwines banjo licks with speedy metal riffs on "Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow." It could be a trainwreck, but it actually works quite well, certainly better than other bands who have tried similar things (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster spring to mind).

Every Time I Die has included melodic rock tracks to balance out the chaos for most of its career. Tracks like Gutter Phenomenon's "The New Black" and New Junk Aesthetic's "Wanderlust," as well as a number of tunes from 2007's The Big Dirty, have showed that Buckley actually has a pretty decent singing voice, and that the band has a sharp sense of melody. The band have never been as purely pop, however, as they are on first single "Revival Mode." Buckley's time spent with side project the Damned Things shines through here in a big way. It's a good radio rock song, but it seems a little out of place in the context of the album.

Ex Lives is the heaviest album Every Time I Die has made in years, but it also has more dimensions that don't reveal themselves immediately. Nothing is radically different than what we've heard from the group before, but they continue to improve and grow as songwriters and musicians. Ex Lives is exactly what you'd expect from the band at this point in their career, with a little extra. Fans will not be disappointed.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Every Time I Die - New Junk AestheticThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastEvery Time I Die - The Big DirtyHot Water Music - ExisterRed City Radio - TitlesThe Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsPropagandhi - Failed States

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
JayTee (March 8, 2012)

Every time I lay dying, bring me the horizon after the burial.

eatdogs (March 8, 2012)

"Same thing seems to happen to the Deftones. People want to dismiss them too because them because too many jackasses are into them. Whatever. They've always fucking owned it. Consistently interesting, frequently hilarious and always straight fucking rocking. One of the best live shows ever, too."

you're my hero of the day.

tenwestchaser (March 7, 2012)

*dismiss them because too

tenwestchaser (March 7, 2012)

Right along with everyone else. Really digging this. As far as ETID getting dogged on....I think that a lot of people don't want to admit that they've always had it compared to their peers. Possibly what Keith is talking about with the line "I'm not the company I keep." Same thing seems to happen to the Deftones. People want to dismiss them because them because too many jackasses are into them. Whatever. They've always fucking owned it. Consistently interesting, frequently hilarious and always straight fucking rocking. One of the best live shows ever, too.

HeresLookinAtYou (March 7, 2012)

Yup. Really good.

skolarx (March 7, 2012)

I always thought they got bagged on around here for whatever reason.

Their following has changed a ton from the first time I saw them when it was almost all basketball short wearing mosh bros (around when Hot Damn came out.)

More I've listened to the album, the more I like it. Well worth hitting up the store for it yesterday

eatdogs (March 7, 2012)

"I'm honestly amazed that this seems to be the new Orgcore band. at the moment, I don't think it's as strong as the last 2 albums but a few more spins might change that.'

uh, i think the site's liked ETID since their first ep.

eatdogs (March 7, 2012)

"They mislabeled that song on the DVD, it was actually Jimmy Tango's Method."

ha ha word. i found that out when i got last night in town. that dvd made me a fan of so many hardcore bands back when i was just getting into the stuff.

skolarx (March 7, 2012)

I'm honestly amazed that this seems to be the new Orgcore band. at the moment, I don't think it's as strong as the last 2 albums but a few more spins might change that.

gugl0003 (March 6, 2012)

This might be their best album to date.

thepopeofchili-town (March 6, 2012)

Not a single negative comment? Every Time I Die is the new orgcore.

telegraphrocks (March 6, 2012)

Fucking rad. Fun album. Thumbs up.

robalobadob (March 6, 2012)

"the logic of crocodiles. hellfest 2002..."

They mislabeled that song on the DVD, it was actually Jimmy Tango's Method.

87wrangler (March 6, 2012)

This and the Menzingers are my tops for 2012 so far, but I still need to get the new Ceremony. Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow is one of my new favorites from ETID. Then again, I'm a sucker for banjo.

pornnamesareoverrated (March 6, 2012)

"hipsters go hard at apple stores..."

lol

thepopeofchili-town (March 6, 2012)

I think the lyrics are "I'm bored as hell in Sodom / And Eden's just another dry county"

They are. I didn't have the actual lyrics available at the time.

eatdogs (March 6, 2012)

"Picking this up after I cash my check this week. But goddamn if that album art isn't some cool shit.."

hipsters go hard at apple stores...

pornnamesareoverrated (March 6, 2012)

Picking this up after I cash my check this week. But goddamn if that album art isn't some cool shit.

cfriedrich (March 6, 2012)

I think the lyrics are "I'm bored as hell in Sodom / And Eden's just another dry county"

eatdogs (March 6, 2012)

the logic of crocodiles. hellfest 2002...

robalobadob (March 6, 2012)

This shits hotter than tits at christmas!

preston (March 6, 2012)

I was ready to overlook this one since the last didn't stick out to me. Looks like I gotta pick it up. I mean, it's Renaldo approved...

slice (March 6, 2012)

The new album is awesome...so heavy with great breakdowns and tempo changes...and the quality of the production is superb

skeetopunk01 (March 6, 2012)

This album rips.. my favorite is still Hot Damn!, but this is going to be a close second.

uncle_leo (March 6, 2012)

I'm very happy with this album and this review. My only contradiction is that "Revival Mode" fit very nicely with this album, providing a much needed break between the the intensity of the surrounding tracks.

sawdonkey (March 6, 2012)

I agree with all of the good things that are about to be said about this album. I haven't gotten to the point of screaming along with the songs, but I can tell that time is coming soon.

renaldo69 (March 6, 2012)

agreed. effin A

MN_DrNick (March 6, 2012)

This album is the shit. Might possibly be their best.

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