Every Time I Die – The Big Dirty
Release Date: September 4, 2007
Record Label: Ferret
It’s fairly unusual for a simple album title to perfectly describe a band, but I’ve come to expect the unexpected with Every Time I Die. Titled The Big Dirty, the fourth full-length album from the Buffalo, New York, quartet, it’s the perfect description of the band’s past, present, and future: big riffs, big vocals, big beards, Big Dirty, ya dig? After receiving much critical acclaim on 2005’s Gutter Phenomenon (which was a departure from the earlier records), ETID tapped Steve Evetts (Saves The Day, The Dillinger Escape Plan) to produced The Big Dirty. Taking pieces from their previous albums, you could sum up The Big Dirty as the bastard child of Gutter and 2003’s Hot Damn!.
Guitarist’s Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams thunderous riffs begin “No Son Of Mine,” the opening track of Dirty. Vocalist Keith Buckley immediately sounds like a mad man on the mic, with Mike Novak pounding on the kit. The breakneck speed of “Pigs Is Pigs” will immediately bring Hot Damn! comparisons are Keith tells us he is “no good at court-ordered goodbyes.”
While the southern rock influence found on Gutter is still very present, the breakdowns on Dirty have been improved since the 2005 release. Along with “Pigs Is Pigs,” “Cities And Years” and “Rebel Without Applause” (just to name a few) display prominent breakdowns that were lacking a bit on Gutter. “Cities And Years” may be one of the hardest tracks the band has ever created and features a ball-busting breakdown. The guitars are menacing and drive the entire track. The Glassjaw-tinged “Leatherneck” features the versatility in Keith’s vocals, while “We’rewolf” (the first single) is a Southern Rock battle cry (and yes, the mandatory ETID cowbell shows up on this track).
While the album is a melting pot of previous sounds, the band also tries a few different things. “Rendez-Voodoo” is a fusion of metalcore and big band, while “INRIhab” begins with a guitar riff that slightly reminds me of 80’s rock and roll. The lone guest on the album, Alexisonfire and City And Colour’s vocalist Dallas Green, appears here, and the seesaw battle between Green’s smooth vocals and Keith’s raspy scream carry the song. “Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Battery” finished off The Big Dirty, ending what the first track started. The melody of the chorus is similar to Gutter’s “Kill The Music,” but it is one of the strongest tracks lyrically, as Keith finished the song and album with a lasting statement of “It is better to destroy than to create what is meaningless, so the picture will not be finished.”
Lyrically, Keith Buckley does not disappoint. While it’s too soon to tell whether this set of lyrics are stronger or weaker than past releases, the use of clever one-liners, wit, and biting sarcasm are still abundant. Another certainty of any Every Time I Die record is huge guitar riffs, which do not disappoint and are present on all twelve tracks.
The Big Dirty does an excellent job of acknowledging the band’s past releases as well as progressing. This is not the same band that released Last Night In Town some six years ago, rather they push the envelope in a saturated genre. Many bands feebly attempt to emulate Every Time I Die, but there is only one. Ladies and gentlemen, grab your over-sized turkey legs and Pabst Blue Ribbon, for Every Time I Die is back, as The Big Dirty will leave a lasting aroma you’ll never want to wash off.