Tonight we dance, for tomorrow they release the dogs
Very few bands I have stuck with over the past 6 or 7 years. Very few bands from that era of my music exploration (2008-2011) still get regular listens. Many terrible terrible bands were clicked and dragged into my iTunes and then sadly years later clicked and dragged to the trash. Every Time I Die has stayed compelling to me. I am not sure if it’s because my friends also got into them at the same time I did, or if I have them so engrained into my Friday night playlist with my boys drinking cheap beer when I was 21, that those memories permeate into every listen. But whatever it is that keeps me coming back, whatever thirst that needs quenching, whatever itch that needs to be scratched, ETID has not let me down, and that is more than I can say for almost any other band.
Low Teens is Every Time I Die returning to their southern form. 2013’s From Parts Unknown (my album of the year that year), showed the vicious, raw, volatile side of ETID. Produced by Kurt Ballou (of God City Studios), this album was dripping with urgency and venom. Low Teens doesn’t pretend to stand in the shadow of that monster of a previous album, but instead draws back on older ETID records such as The Big Dirty and Gutter Phenomenon, both of which are albums that take a sidestep to their pummeling sound and trade it in for more groove oriented southern lathered beef riffs.
It takes risks, but not risks that ETID hasn’t taken before. The ballad-esque “It Remembers” features Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie on guest vocals, that absolutely compliment the cigarette rasp of Keith Buckley, as they trade stanzas. ETID isn’t stranger to guest vocals, they have done songs with Gerard Way, Daryl Palumbo and Sean Ingram, like I said – return to an old form.
Low Teens is still at its best when the songs are riff driven, soaked with one liners worth of a tattooed chest piece, and head banging rhythms. “The Coins Has a Say” was one of the songs that were released before the album, and still remains one of the heaviest hitters, and one of the most “quintessential” sounding Every Time I Die songs. A song worthy of being on their “Greatest Hits” album that will come out posthumously. Jam packed with angry guitar progressions and stellar vocal diversity, the highlight is the last 15 seconds when Buckley exclaims “I can’t go back to what I was, Metallica without the drugs”, over the entire band punching and kicking their instruments with intensity.
Moments like that are like tiny nicotine rushes that keep a person from sucking on a cigarette. Explosive 15 to 20 seconds of where the band seems to fall apart, organized chaos, regimented abandon. They stay consistent and they stay pissed and they stay playing that good ol’ rock and roll. Long live the swing kings of riffs.
Last call, k-k-kill it.
by Andy Wilcox (@wilco204)