Album Review: Every Time I Die - 'Ex Lives'

15 February 2012 | 1:11 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

You've got to love when the output matches the hype.

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This is the point where we carefully craft some witty declaration and pen some considered appraisals. However, it's a simple reality here. The fact that no affirming introduction is needed speaks greater volumes than any attempts at contrived flattery.

Every Time I Die just rule. It's that easy to comprehend. You know it, I know it, enough said really. Let's not over-hype or give token acclaim for the sake of it, but instead recognise that Every Time I Die are a band that just play their cards right and always hit the mark.

'Hot Damn' still holds true today and slight changes in the sound, a la 2007's 'The Big Dirty', have only worked to strengthen the appeal. Studio album number six, 'Ex Lives' throws elements of hardcore, southern rock and metal into a musical melting pot and serves it to the listener in bold, decisive and clear form.

Beginning with the entertainingly titled 'Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space', the full-length is draped in dark rock 'n' roll tones together with Keith Buckley's signature thought-provoking lyrics. 'Holy Book of Dilemma' is fast and brief while 'Typical Miracle' sounds similar to what we have come to expect on latter releases, namely the aforementioned 'The Big Dirty' and predecessor 'New Junk Aesthetic'.

The middle though is when things start to get interesting. 'Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow' the perfect case study. A banjo introduction will surprise; in an ode to ETID's southern stylings. 'The Low Road Has No Exits' is one of the Buffalo outfit's heaviest and fastest moments, not just on this album but across the board. While 'I Suck (Blood)' makes good on ETID's previous claims of introducing us to their newest member…the double kick. Additionally, tail-end track 'Indian Giver' almost borrows a sound similar to that found on Cave In's noteworthy 2011 release 'White Silence'.

We could offer some definitive quote, the ones record companies love to plaster on stickers found on the album cover's front, but we'll stop short and instead just declare this as brilliantly precise. Crack open a beer and just enjoy this album because i'm sure ETID had incredible fun making it.

If you can't appreciate anything 'Ex Lives' offers then it's your loss, the savvy musical listeners pity you. The full-length takes a cross-section of the entire ETID catalogue dating right back to 2003, and perhaps even 2001, and condenses it all into 14 neat tracks. 'Ex Lives' is littered and coated with such superb delivery it's almost striking. And that claim comes after putting the subjective fan-boy persona aside. Neutrally speaking, 'Ex Lives' is enjoyable. Critically speaking this album is well-rounded. And from a fan perspective, 'Ex Lives' is an absolute rager. 2012 has an early contender.

1. Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
2. Holy Book of Dilemma

3. A Wild, Shameless Plain
4. Typical Miracle

5. I Suck (Blood)
6. Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow
7. The Low Road Has No Exits

8. Revival Mode
9. Drag King

10. Touch Yourself

11. Indian Giver

12. Grudge Music
13. Business Casualty
14. Starve An Artist, Cover Your Trash