Every Time I Die – Radical
Released: October 22, 2021
Keith Buckley | vocals
Jordan Buckley | guitars
Andy Williams | guitars
Stephen Micciche | bass
Clayton Holyoak | drums
“Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor.” – Hesiod.
Beginning an article of this nature with a quote from an ancient Greek poet, one who is credited as a major source for sociological necessities and advancements such as early economic thought is, unconventional. Realistically, Buffalo’s southern-metallic-hardcore-punk heroes Every Time I Die have in all probability, very little involvement with Greek history. However, their strategy for the release of their ninth studio album Radical utilised the aforementioned advice from Hesiod; the quintet simply refused to release it until they were able to tour and celebrate the LP properly, observing due measure. It has been discussed that the record was completed in early 2020 – well over a year ago, but this was about the time that COVID-19 altered our existence and left artists hoping for a return to a sense of normalcy and the ability to pursue what they love.
That time has come; while normalcy is not quite where the human race is versus the pandemic, the progress is encouraging which ETID have observed. After five long years since Low Teens, the 16 once entombed songs are about to pummel the world and honestly, the new full-length could be entitled: Rampager – it is a monster.
Every Time I Die have had an uncanny ability to consistently body-slam their countless listeners throughout the globe with ballistic opening songs throughout their discography; ‘Dark Distance’ is the Stone Cold Stunner. Frenzied and furious in a matter of words; impossibly the quintet are delivering new realms of heaviness that they have yet to administer. There are elements of From Parts Unknown’s closer ‘Idiot’ as well as some haunting Alexis Marshall (Daughters) spoken word moments from Keith Buckley; but for the most part, this is as brutal as an ‘Organ Grinder’ and Hot Damn! the boys are back.
‘Sly’ is a nice continuation from Low Teens with some vocal experimentation that has a nod of respect to Queen’s theatrics in operatic methods and the love acknowledgement to “Buffalo” is a VERY nice touch. ‘Planet Shit’ is a much angrier punk postscript to ‘Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow’ – where they “Curse the day they raise our glass”, this time they are throwing Molotov cocktails. Now, it is outrage and it is outrageous.
‘Post Boredom’ is arguably the catchiest number ‘TID have written and it most-likely unsettled many of the Etidiots out there; truthfully, the five-piece always had the potential to write a proper sing-along akin to Taking Back Sunday (they toured together in 2017) and they have conveyed this remarkably without losing their identity. ‘Colossal Wreck’ is Every Time I dIeNTENSITY unequivocally and the other single released ‘Desperate Pleasures’ upholds what was previously mentioned, although the song-writing has incorporated the unique mewithoutyou approach found on Catch For Us The Foxes to begin, which follows with a political hardcore middle finger.
For this writer, ‘All This And War’ is the pinnacle of Radical – a throwback of sorts to Last Night In Town and Norma Jean’s Bless The Martyr And Kiss The Child; it would only make sense to have Josh Scogin (’68, The Chariot and Norma Jean) guest on it. The track itself is beyond an adventure, a mathcore monstrosity: Cowbell, a marching rock groove and an almost nu-metalcore duet section. By the way, this is nearly the mid-point of the full-length.
‘Thing With Feathers’ is somewhat ironically titled, because it is Every Time I Die spreading their wings to unknown territories with a collaboration featuring Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra – it is fundamentally an indie rock track and Keith Buckley has made his affections known for bands like Frightened Rabbit; it is daring. Undoubtedly, it does bewilder, but maybe it could be phrased as: “Be Wilder”?
‘Hostile Architecture’ could be envisioned as ‘Wanderlust’ part two, with a new director. Keith states in the song from 2009: “Just let me try that one more time. Without a smile on my face” if this is it, it was achieved wonderfully. ‘AWOL’ presents itself as Glassjaw rewriting Converge’s ‘When Eagles Become Vultures’ and it is astounding (ETID have admitted their adoration for both outfits); ‘The Whip’ is Ex Lives era breakneck speed with an early Zao metalcore concoction smashed into it, excellently.
The silver medallist for this scribe on Radical comes in the form of ‘White Void’; a fusion of The Damned Things, Deftones, Shai Hulud and early Eighteen Visions virtually in that order, however, also not, as each component appears randomly throughout miraculously. ‘Distress Rehearsal’ is bordering on Metallica thrash modus operandi with math-metalcore breakdowns that would ensure neck dislocation. ‘sexsexsex’ undertakes a post-grunge introduction which moves into the follow-up to ‘Thirst’ in a way, then a pinch of Coalesce is added to spice it up.
The final two cuts to conclude are again slightly unfamiliar to what ETID have crafted over the last 23 years, although it is still recognisably them. ‘People Verses’ is in the perimeter of ‘Map Change’, yet on a tangent. Sincerely, it could be used in one of the Game Of Thrones spin-off series, it has that cinematic aura; essentially though it is still a rock-meets-hardcore song, perhaps a battle scene? To close ‘We Go Together’ which unbelievably feels more like a metallic rock-opera conducted by Between The Buried And Me with different acts making up the theatrical piece. It is uninhibited and brilliant, conversely, mystifying maybe more accurate.
In all likelihood, many wouldn’t know that the production time for the critically acclaimed, genre-redefining and Academy award winning film Toy Story took approximately five years. The “right timing” element would be a great part of its success; Every Time I Die will not win an Academy award for Radical, because there sadly isn’t a category for their immaculate heavy music. However, they have gone: “To Infinity….And Beyond”, they have the right timing now to unleash this monster upon the world and they have set their laser from stun, to kill.
Every Time I Die – Radical tracklisting:
1. Dark Distance
3. Planet Shit
5. Colossal Wreck
6. Desperate Pleasures
7. All This And War
8. Thing With Feathers
9. Hostile Architecture
11. The Whip
12. White Void
13. Distress Rehearsal
15. People Verses
16. We Go Together
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