Every Time I Die - live in Colchester (Cover Artwork)

Every Time I Die

live in Colchester (2008)

live show

According to the proverb, if you smile, the world smiles with you. There's no mention of drinking alcohol, bleeding, going crazy and generally having the time of your life, but suffice it to say that Buffalo, New York's Every Time I Die have the sold out Colchester crowd eating from their tattooed, sweaty palms within seconds of their arrival onstage and the opening chords of the thunderous "We'rewolf."

Arguably the most dangerous looking act on the scene right now, the five-headed snake-charming party monster writhed and grinded its way through a set comprised heavily of latest opus The Big Dirty and previous -- yet no less groundbreaking -- LPs, Gutter Phenomenon and Hot Damn!. If there was a pictorial entry for the word 'motherf*cker' in the dictionary, this band would unquestionably enjoy the honour of being its sole inclusion.

After the show-stopping mediocrity of support act Drop Dead, Gorgeous, the band stormed onto the stage like returning war heroes, bloodied from battle and armed with an arsenal of their trademark southern-tinged metalcore, sneering their way through a string of crowd sing-alongs without stopping for breath. Guitarist Andy Williams, the living embodiment of the cartoon representation of wind, hauled his monstrous frame -- and indescribably large facial hair -- across the boards, spitting out a succession of monolithic riffs and quite possibly losing half his body weight in the process.

Weaving his way through the chaos was Keith Buckley, a slight man whose size is betrayed by the immense persona afforded him by being The Singer from Every Time I Die. Buckley shared jokes, drinks and spit with the front rows from start to finish, looking every moment like a man ready for another ten shots of snake venom from a shamen's drink cabinet. His voice uniquely mixes southern drawl with a gruff prison guard schtick, a storyteller with no care for who hears his tales and a knowing wink to those with whom his words connect.

Tonight, the five members of Every Time I Die were electrifying. If it is possible to bottle up effortless, unpretentious cool, the band have done so, put it in a bong and smoked it. When the last shreds of set closer "Ebolarama" seeped down into the venue's wooden floor -- now caked in the blood and sweat of 400 very happy fans -- one was left in no doubt as to the cathartic qualities of what has just been witnessed.

Based on this show -- and assuming the band continue their legendary and somehow hilarious quest to use more bassists than any other band in history -- this party will have the world smiling for a long time to come.