Every Time I Die unleash Ex Lives

Every Time I Die unleash Ex Lives

Every Time I Die have made a career defining record with their 6th release, Ex Lives. The group returns with an aggressive and concise set of tracks.
As they age, many punk and metal bands “mature” their sounds. This is publicist code for a band mellowing, commercializing, and often replicating themselves. Aggression is tempered, images cleaned, and sounds are sanitized. Ex Lives, the sixth record by Every Time I Die is then a very immature release.

In a video made by Epitaph Records to promote the record, the group’s guitarist, Jordan Buckley, had this to say, “I’m with the kids who say, ‘Give it to me now, make me pay attention because if you lose me, I’m outta here,’” Ex Lives delivers on that pledge from the moment his brother Keith shrieks “I want to be dead with my friends” to the end of its hardcore raga closer, “Indian Giver”. Every Time I Die ensnares the listener with punk fury and a keen ear for melody.

A new drummer, Ryan Leger, propels the group with superb grooves and a ferocious attack. His playing on “Holy Book of Dilemma” will make the song a favorite at the group’s energetic live shows. To say that “Legs” has injected new life into the band is a massive understatement. Leger’s talent for driving his band makes his predecessor’s performances seem tepid. Guitarists Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley serve up white hot cuts of their signature Southern fried metalcore as well as surprises like the jazzy “Typical Miracle” and the slow burner “Revival Mode“. The two race through riff after fiery riff before dropping into absolutely savage breakdowns.

That track and “Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow” are Keith Buckley at his finest, screaming and crooning lines culled from the lips of a drunk Baptist minister. While Keith’s recent work with The Damned Things brought a greater focus on singing, these songs are a study in how a man destroys his larynx. With a run time just over a half hour, Ex-Lives flies by and Buckley’s lyrics are rich with literary images and wordplay that rewards repeat listens. Visceral and cerebral punk? I’ll raise my glass to that.

9.5/10

For Fans of: Trap Them, Mastodon, The Chariot, getting shitfaced and moshing

Your humble servant recently attended an Every Time I Die show in Brooklyn at the Morgan. In short, go see the band but have your will prepared beforehand.

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