Every Time I Die - Last Night in Town (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Every Time I Die

Last Night in Town (2001)


Few modern bands have mastered the English language to a T. Even fewer have managed to present this art in unfashionable (not meant to be ironic) yet relevant and coherent forms. Last Night in Town is where Every Time I Die did both, bringing the terms "rhetoric" and "caustic" each to a whole new level.

The key structure to these ten songs is that there is no structure. As playfully elaborated in the review of the equally spectacular Hot Damn!, ETID stray from choruses like they were acting out magnetism laws. Backtracking on lines such as "a whole lotta shakin' going on," "everybody please remain calm," and "is this any of this making sense?" is only done so as to expand on the orchestrated panic seething through the speakers, trying to claw its way to freedom like a cell-confined convict.

There's a certain vagueness many of the songs carry as well. A specific interpretation is implied by each, but abundantly open to varied meaning. Is "California, Gracefully" a DUI warning or just highway valor? Is the post-slaughter confession of "I didn't survive the crash" that drips in irony symbolic for something other than metaphorical death? (Maybe.) Nevertheless, with each bitter spewing, a certain level of sarcasm is evident. Take "The Logic of Crocodiles" - the band picks apart corporate clichés ("we are respectively geared towards customer service"), and pairs them with blunt mocking ("I have a very expensive pen"), transforming the illusion of three-piece getups into clown costumes.

Oh yeah, the music. The band's penetrating screams and joyously wild yells are all nicely decipherable in comparison to the normally untranslatable Cookie Monster theatrics usually depended upon by other prefix-core bands. The guitars flip-flop between frenetic riffing and hyperactive decrescendos. Save for a hot minute in "Nothing Dreadful Ever Happens," it's metalcore that does not let the fuck up. In other words, it's gorgeous, in a sick and twisted manner.

The one main issue with the disc is the lack of a climaxing finish to the last song, "Shallow Water Blackout." However, you're going to be subject to that possibility when every song of yours is simply a breakdown.

In short, this album rocks. Hard. It rocks like a house on a fucking fault line. If you haven't yet united this with Hot Damn! to make them one happy couple - then, to quote Every Time I Die, "you're so oblivious."

"Punch-Drunk Punk Rock Romance"
"The Logic of Crocodiles"

"The Logic of Crocodiles"