It’s been 15 years since Every Time I Die first made their way into the public conscience with Last Night Town and now, as cult heroes of hardcore, they’re set to release album number eight, Low Teens on Epitaph Records.
The dirty, unpolished guitar intro to ‘Fear and Trembling’ sets the scene that this isn’t going to be a pretty listen, and as the track builds into a bass-heavy animal, that message is driven home hard. The already released singles ‘Glitches’ with its ‘still the name old devils’ repeat acting as a timely reminder, and ‘C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)’ only carry on the maelstrom.
Through ‘Two Summers’ and the Ire Works-era Dillinger sounding ‘Awful Lot’, ETID shoe themselves at their finest, Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams’ guitars sound like they’ve been heavily influenced by Williams’ recent wrestling career. The second half of the album takes the record down an even heavier path, with vocalist Keith Buckley especially sounding more unhinged and authoritative than ever before; ‘Petal’ and the many twists of ‘Religion of Speed’ in particular provide real standouts of the album.
Remarkably Low Teens manages to sound like Every Time I Die have basically written a greatest hits album for themselves. It’s astonishing to think that a band eight albums-deep into a career can still come out with something so spectacularly brilliant. There are no pauses for breath at all, Buckley’s vocals and lyrics are more scathing than ever, even frightening at times (‘We had such promise until we broke our promises’).
The quality of the individual performances, the tightness of the band as a whole, and Will Putney’s (Northlane, The Acacia Strain, Thy Art is Murder) phenomenal production combine to make a stunning record that’s impossible not to repeat playing several times over. If the tracks sound even half as good on the band’s December tour, then expect to be blown away all over again.