Every Time I Die – Low Teens
Released: 23rd September 2016
Keith Buckley – Vocals
Jordan Buckley – Lead Guitar
Andy Williams – Rhythm Guitar
Stephen Micciche – Bass
Daniel Davison – Drums
Facebook: Every Time I Die
When someone mentions the band Every Time I Die the first few words that come into your mind should always be “Andy Williams’ luscious facial hair, Jordan Buckley’s incredible drawings, Shinfo and an epic fuckin’ band ready to melt your faces with their impressive riffs and heavy hardcore sound that could solve world peace in an instant…” well, maybe that last part was a bit too far but it’s close to how fans of the band feel with the anticipation of every new release.
The band’s latest offering Low Teens took inspiration from a time very close and personal to front-man Keith Buckley following a hugely traumatic experience when his wife was faced with a life threatening pregnancy complication. Fast forward now and everyone is fine but it was a time that really tested the man’s spirits and well-being and he’s since expressed his experience in the form of the band’s new music which I’ll begin to elaborate on with opening track “Fear and Trembling“.
The slow and raw sounding guitar riff at the start draws us in slowly in an attempt to brace us for Keith’s confronting screams about the manic thoughts going though his mind when he received that phone call about his wife’s complications. The harrowing repeated lyrics “Though it may haunt us and break out hearts, death cannot tear us apart” send chills up my spine as I can only imagine what it would have been like to go through that experience personally. ETID work together to collectively set up a truly heartbreaking story of a broken man rushing to be close with his family. They couldn’t have kicked off the album with a better song. Period. Following on from this track would be hard but immediately we are thrust into the fast and heavy opening notes of “Glitches” which we had been exposed to a few weeks back. The vicious and frantic theme continues with all members bringing their A Game in keeping the momentum of the album going forward at full speed.
“C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)” follows, bringing along with it a sound very akin to the band’s earlier work on Gutter Phenomenon which immediately fills me with a feeling of satisfaction and eagerness. But when I took a closer look at the lyrical content of the song, I can’t help but feel terrible for getting excited about the struggle of a man who is literally begging on his knees in front of hospital equipment to save the life of the women he loves most.
“Stay if you think we could pull through, but my curse is the strongest there is and karma collects what is his. I try to plead with your machines. I’m at the feet of your machines.”
Brutal doesn’t even begin to explain the content of this track but I commend Keith for being able to open up to us all about it. This roller coaster of emotion ends just shy of 3mins and “Two Summers” slightly brings the tempo down and Keith opts for a clean vocal approach (with his somewhat sexy southern twang) while the rest of the band harmoniously plays along before speeding things up halfway through leading us towards a cowbell filled soft breakdown to round out the track. “Awful Lot” kicks off with an old school grunge feel complete with chugga riffage that compliments a poetic expression of lyrics sang/yelled at you in a way that’s not aggressive but more welcoming and knowledge filled. The stop down in the middle of the song has Buckley reflecting on a time in his life when he was a completely different person to the man he is today before the song ends with a very old sounding recording fading down to calm your overly excited senses.
“I Didn’t Want To Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway” not only consists of one of the best song titles I’ve heard of in a while, but a high impact, energy filled assault on everything around you. I can’t decide whether it’s the drumming, guitars or thick and hard bass lines I’m frothing the most over in this circle pit anthem but from the minute it started all the way through until the end I was completely hooked. Next up “It Remembers” starts off slow jam styled with rough guitars and Keith Buckley‘s soothingly smooth clean vocals taking us through the song before out fuckin’ of nowhere he’s joined by Panic! @ the Disco‘s Brendon Urie contributing his voice to the cause and instantly the album gets 75% sexier. Urie’s cameo compliments the guitar playing around his vocals and the added tambourine is the cherry on top of one of the most unexpectedly surprise hits from the album. Upon second listen, yes my statement above is still valid. The soothing of the soul is instantly taken away within the first note of “Petal” as ETID’s signature frantic panic in one second flat style introduces us to yet another blood pumping, mosh inducing punch fest that makes you want to get up and air swing furiously until you make contact with the first thing that comes across your path. The song focus is around the time Keith’s daughter was finally brought into this world following the traumatic complications surrounding the birth, with her father singing about the experience “If I have to walk alone I’m giving up, I can’t stay here knowing love is not enough. Untimely ripped into this world, I was born again as a girl”. People will tell you childbirth is one of the most beautiful moments you will experience in your life (if you choose to go down that path) but to be honest and truthful, not all of us will experience a moment so pleasant and for those who unfortunately go down that complicated path, this song is close to a true representation of the entire experience and all the emotions that flood through the bodies of everyone in that delivery room. Holy shit I need a cigarette break.
Stepping back into familiar territory now with the band’s first single “The Coin Has A Say” rolling through the speakers with a sound (do I dare say) similar to a preaching sermon? Yeah I will, but with a fantastic heavy metal soundtrack behind it. The song has everything old fans of ETID will enjoy, taking inspiration yet again from earlier releases from the heavier side of their back catalogue including guitar solos, mosh friendly slow downs where you can catch your breath and screams a plenty. “Religion of Speed” opts for an acoustic introduction, increasing in volume and intensity as drums and electric guitars kick in first to tease us with what’s to come, before returning and sticking around for the duration of the rest of the song. Love breakdowns? There’s a full whole rounded one towards the end of this one which lasts long enough for you to throw down any built up anger from over the past decade but don’t slow down too soon, you’ll need that energy in order to pick things up again straight away for “Just As Real But Not As Brightly Lit” which wastes no time getting you up to speed with it’s brutal ensemble of instrumentals, combined with Keith’s perfectly executed screams all the way though until it’s abrupt ending.
“1977” has a balls out, pedal to the metal beginning similar to their memorable work on “The Logic of Crocodiles” from 2001‘s Last Night in Town, only now they’re 15 years older and have progressed so much as musicians during that time and it shows. The quiet stop downs/slow playing showcases the emotion in the words being flung your way, yet the sheer force of the band playing together sends shivers up my spine. Yet another favourite for future gigs as I can only imagine how intense the entire venue would get from both the band playing and the fans feeding off this track. All good things must come to an end though and the last song “Map Change” sets up the climatic ending to what would have to be one the band’s best albums in recent years. The frenzied drumming of Daniel Davison makes it impossible to not move your around as you head bang along to the intensity this band is leaving you with. But the tempo drops in speed at the chorus just enough for you to take in and appreciate the exceptional playing both Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley have when they team up to compliment each other’s performance. I wouldn’t be far off calling this one a blend of ballad material and a fast paced rock song which just works perfectly and is the best way to finish off the experience that I have just sat through.
In closing, Keith Buckley has taken a truly harrowing experience and managed to put it on display for the world to get an insight to what went through this man’s life during one of the most terrifying experiences of his life. Its takes a whole lot of bravery to put yourself (and your family’s experience) out there in the form of a musical adventure, but in doing so he has opened a new way to connect with those who have gone though similar circumstances and provided them with a soundtrack to help them (hopefully) move on from the situation and prove you can come out the other side a winner. Every Time I Die perfectly worked alongside their front-man in making this vision a reality and I have no doubt the guys will be so stoked on the final release. A fantastic legacy to leave behind.
Every Time I Die – Low Teens tracklist
1 – Fear And Trembling
2 – Glitches
3 – C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)
4 – Two Summers
5 – Awful Lot
6 – I Didn’t Want To Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway
7 – It Remembers
8 – Petal
9 – The Coin Has A Say
10 – Religion Of Speed
11 – Just As Real But Not As Brightly Lit
12 – 1977
13 – Map Change
Low Teens is Available Tomorrow
Until next time, rock the fuck out!