Every Time I Die are one of my favourite bands in the world. They encapsulate everything that is good about heavy music. Riffs, melody, excellent merch. I wouldn’t own six ETID tshirts otherwise.
Is that excessive? No – they’re all awesome shirts. Is this going to be a balanced, honest review? It’s the only way. Was I drunk? No – it was the first time sober at an ETID show and I was scared. Especially when I nipped out for a cigarette and had to bustle my way past half a dozen handbags (after they’d hit me in the belly, of course) and then the very ample smoking area was full. What was this madness? So many women. So much cancer. Every Time I Die!
Six things we found out when we saw ETID in Camden:
1) This band could have deceased band members onstage and still be excellent. Every Time I Die arrived at the venue at 5pm following flight difficulties. They spent the best part of two days travelling to the UK and, quite reasonably, I was worried that this would lead to a shitty set. BUT NO. Every Time I Die performed with more energy and zeal than a band a decade younger that had had a lie in. Clearly, ETID have earned their reputation as one of the very best live bands around.
2) It’s a good and varied package tonight. From Defeater’s acoustic openings and frantic, t-shirt wrenching emotional hardcore to Spy Catcher‘s soulful post-hardcore blend and then Trash Talk‘s regular crowd baiting hardcore. Lee Spielman spending the whole time off the stage? Normal and excellent.
3) Ryan Leger is making this band even better than they already were. They have Keith Buckley already (see 5) and they have Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams for the Southern riffs, but but Leger’s outstandingly crisp drumwork is what glues it all together. The key to a great band is a great drummer. Think about all your favourite bands and they all have an above-par drummer. It’s the rules and ETID are following them.
Every Time I Die @ London Camden Electric Ballroom - 30 November 2011 c/o Ben Gibson
4) When ETID say their new material is heavier AND more melodic, they aren’t lying. ‘Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space’ is the title of the new song they showcase tonight. With an opening refrain of, “I want to be dead with my friends,” there are some slowed down, crushingly heavy, doomy riffs and vocals from Buckley which veer from his trademark controlled scream to the more melodic clean voice he used in The Damned Things.
5) Keith Buckley is one of the best frontmen around. This guy has done it with two bands now as well. He took vocal coaching after Hot Damn! to help him achieve the kind of sound he wanted and he’s got it down to a tee. Never satisfied, he went for almost purely melodic vocals in The Damned Things. There are plenty of hardcore bands who rely on the wet-looking guitarist to provide the clean vocals while the pirate-obsessed frontman snarls and growls but Every Time I Die have Keith Buckley. He uses his full repertoire onstage tonight and it’s fucking brilliant.
6) Each album Every Time I Die releases appears to be closer to what they’re aiming for. They progress without stagnating. They always push themselves and this is shown in the setlist. Starting off with ‘Apocalypse Now And Then’ – the first of three tracks from Gutter Phenomenon tonight – they play at least a couple of songs off each album. They can do this because they’ve never written a bad album. If you’re getting a message like, “EVERY TIME I DIE ARE AWESOME,” it’s because it’s true.
Roll on 2012 and a new Every Time I Die album.