» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Every Time I Die
Hot Damn
Ferret Music

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Words like "heavy," "loud," and "fast" can be bandied about for the vast majority of hardcore albums with good reason: they typically embody such adjectives. It's somewhere else, though, that the word "good" lies. Somewhere intangible at times, somewhere in the gray area between the blistering guitars and shrieking vocals.

Every Time I Die dwell somewhere in the Dillinger Escape Plan arena of hardcore. Not quite as metallic, not quite as chaotic, definitely more palatable, but still venturing towards an off-kilter style. Throughout the entire disc, the tempo changes range from driving guitar lines, to momentary lulls of brief, chugging breaks or quick riffs, and then back again. It's difficult to latch on to any single guitar piece since it arrives and transforms as quickly as your ears can digest it. Each song mangles its way along an unknown path, and by journey's end, you've been twelve different places.

Vocally, singer and lyricist Keith Buckley provides the screams, and for the most part, the variation is confined to barked lyrics, and an almost crooner-esque approach to some of his verse beginnings. Less frequently, there are Chino Moreno style whimpers and sighs, and on "In the Event That Everything Should Go Terribly Wrong," there is an almost gothic rendition of the lyrics "youreokiwillbei," over and over, providing a haunting change of pace three quarters into the disc. After roughly three full listens through, this album is starting to grow on me, and the nuisances of each song are beginning to resonate, bringing to light sounds that I missed my first spin of the disc.

Lyrically, Hot Damn is not as straightforward as many of the albums by bands within Everytime I Die's genre. There aren't any black and white criticisms of government. There are no calls to the children of the street, or pleas for unity. I didn't even notice any out and out criticisms of past relationships. The lyrics are more poetic and unintelligible, given my experience with them. This is a good thing, though. For those with the time to read the CD booklet, or the ear to actually make out the lyrics, they offer another challenge in addition to the music itself.

I would say that this is a solid release in that it brings more than just your standard mess of heavy guitar lines and indecipherable vocals to the plate, and if anything, it seems Every Time I Die are heading in the right direction: creating unpredictable, challenging music.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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