EVERY TIME I DIE – EX LIVES
Released 5th March 2012 (Epitaph Records)
Words: Tom Willmott
It has to be said, there really isn’t another band like Every Time I Die in existence. Of course, there are plenty of acts that do their best to re-create their hardcore/southern rock style but it simply cannot be matched. The band have a consistently impressive track record when it comes to new material, and their latest offering “Ex Lives” is no exception – and is one of their best offerings to date.
As with any ETID album, there has to be a jaw- dropping opener and “Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space” is the perfect way to kick things off. Following this are the sort of fast, direct hardcore numbers that we’ve grown to love from them: “Holy Book Of Dilemma” and “A Wild Shameless Plain”, with their sharp, riotous pitch are definitely ones that will go down a treat live. Adding to this palette, they deliver a slightly retro style influence with “Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow” reminiscent almost of a Clutch-esque intro.
As heavy and hard hitting as the majority of this record is, there’s still room for the occasional pause, which can be found in the more mellow “Revival Mode, ” with echoes of front man Keith Buckley’s other band, the classic rock influenced The Damned Things. But halfway through the song changes pace and it’s business as usual, making this one of the standout tracks. Listening and re-listening to the album, it’s difficult to find fault – and the bonus tracks offer even more delights. Examples include “Grudge Music” and “Starve An Artist, Cover Your Trash” which provide so much ludicrous insanity, it’s a real head bangers’ fest.
In terms of hardcore, it will be very challenging to find another album this year that can exceed the quality found in “Ex Lives”. And as much as I don’t want to diminish other bands, after listening to this, you have to ask yourselves, how on earth will you top this? Chances are very slim, but it’s great to see Every Time I Die at the peak of their game with one of the strongest comebacks heard in a long while. The next task is for these guys to tour the album over here, and it really cannot come soon enough.