For Fans Of
There are only a few records out there that I can sit through from start to finish without ever once skipping a single song.
There’s Caspian’s excellent ‘Waking Season’, The 1975’s latest and greatest ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ and The Wonder Years’ second album, ‘The Upsides’, among a few select others. But one album that really stands out in that small group like a sore thumb is ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ by the ever consistent Every Time I Die. Fuck…what an absolute monster of a record!
I spent many weekends listening to nothing but that record on repeat as I worked cash-in-hand jobs at local farms & stables, absorbing the beautiful chaos and blistering catharsis of the riffs, grooves, and occasional but the nonetheless solid melodic hooks that make up the album. It’s an album I find myself returning to a lot when I listen to newer, fresher hardcore bands. Now, whether or not these newer, younger acts simply remind me of how much I love ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ or because I want to listen to how hardcore should be done is totally up to you, but that album is an all-time favourite of yours truly. So with such a strong sense of nostalgia and love rooted in Every Time I Die’s fifth album, it was both an exciting and worrying time in the lead up to the band’s newest offering, ‘Low Teens’.
Would this album be as good or at the very least close enough to the stellar nature of ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ or even the early career classic that was ‘Hot Damn’? Or would it fall short and leave me high and dry returning to those older records for my hectic hardcore fix? Well, look, I’d be lying to you if I said that ‘Low Teens’ was my modern day ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ but I would also be lying to you if I said it wasn’t everything that ETID was capable of; creating a fantastic fucking record!
Let’s get one thing straight, ‘Low Teens’ isn’t an experimental album; it doesn’t present any envelope-pushing, groundbreaking moments for the band. What you’ve seen and heard before is what you’re getting here. There are ripping, distorted riffs coming out the wazoo, and let’s just say that the fast drum beats store isn’t running out of stock anytime soon! If you’ve never been a fan of Keith Buckley’s screams, you’re probably going to hate this record as the dude shreds his vocals without seemingly breaking a sweat. All this is packaged into a nice little bundle that makes up the vast majority of the record, save for a thirty seconds of an acoustic guitar part which goes as quickly as it came.
But the other thing you need to remember is that despite the use of these same ingredients, Every Time I Die still manage to pull out one badass cake. From the word “go” this band is off at full speed and ain’t nobody slowing them down. As soon as the guitars on opener ‘Fear and Trembling’ are set in motion, you best not expect to breathe for the next forty minutes because ‘Low Teens’ gets in your face and down your throat and it stays there.
I’m a huge fan of post-rock and that genre’s crescendo-core norms and trust me, nothing gets my jimmies rustling like a song that takes more time to get going than it does for Pauline Hanson to close the vile filth hole that is her mouth. But I think due to my affinity for that extreme, I find it almost beautiful to be pulverised by the album’s crunchy guitars, fortississimo drums and blood-curdling screams for the better part of an hour. Besides, no one does that better than Every Time I Die.
Tracks like ‘Just As Real But Not As Brightly Lit’ and ‘The Coin Has A Say’ honestly gave me chills upon my first listen due to the sheer output of their intensity. Especially the former’s loud, bouncy and filthy excuse for a chorus, which served to be one of the highlights of this whole record. ‘1977’ & ‘Glitches’ also deserve honourable mentions due to being both oddly catchy with their screams, and proactive in the way they make one want to hit inanimate objects over and over until their fists are raw and bloody.
Hell, even the “slower” and “softer” songs like ‘It Remembers’ and ‘C++’ are absolute stunners amongst the album’s other hazy, distorted mini-symphonies of chaos. In fact, ‘It Remembers’ is a somewhat lulling and melodically captivating, so much so that if you look past the surface of the band’s music, you’ll find something a little deeper.
Look, don’t expect a whole new world from the boys in Every Time I Die – this is hardcore, not Aladdin! But what you can expect is an immensely solid fucking album that rarely, if ever lets up with its intensity, energy, and quality.
1. Fear and Trembling
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
9. The Coin Has A Say
10. Religion Of Speed
11. Just As Real But Not As Brightly Lit
13. Map Change
‘Low Teens’ will lay waste to your ears on September 23rd via Epitaph Records.