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Every Time I Die - New Junk Aesthetic

Every Time I Die

New Junk Aesthetic


This has gotta be something of a banner year for Buffalo’s Every Time I Die. While the local metalcore heroes bid an “artistic differences” adieu to long-time drummer Mike “Ratboy” Novak, they managed to lock in big tours in Europe—including a slot on the overseas Taste of Chaos—and a new record. Their fifth full-length album (and the band’s label debut on the Epitaph imprint), New Junk Aesthetic is a storming barrage of the band’s serpentine, tear-the-house-apart riffing, and their speeding, start/stop histrionics remain at the surface. But a deeper listen to this hike into the heavy reveals the band’s hardest and most focused effort to date.

The chaotic 13-track album features the Buckley brothers (vocalist/lyricist Keith and guitarist Jordan), guitarist Andy Williams, bassist Josh Newton, and Novak’s last stand at the stool, along with guest stars including Fall Out Boy bassist/celeb mag boytoy Pete Wentz (digging back to his hardcore roots on “After One Quarter of a Revolution”) and Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan (with the thrash epic “The Marvelous Slut”). An established band can be entering dicey territory when a new record gets tagged with words like “maturity” or “new direction,” and New Junk is going to get those. In this case, there’s no reason to be dubious. Old fans will revel more than ever in the yin and yang guitar spiral of Jordan Buckley’s serrated crunch and Williams’s tone-perfect riffing. The killer “Wanderlust” has an almost metal-boogie quality, exhibiting a bobbing spryness and shredding goliath funk, further highlighted by some of Keith Buckley’s best vocal work ever as he belts it out like Glenn Danzig. “White Smoke” is hyper-heavy but twists on edges of psychedelia, while on “Who Invented the Russian Soldier,” Keith shows his pen is as razor sharp as the band’s guitars: “There’s nothing to see here/And that nothing looks back at us.” There’s no feel-good, hometown element about “Buffalo 666,” which blazes with a crushing power and an undeniable sense of terror.

So with a great label, a solid record that finds them breaking new ground, and a foothold in Europe, it looks like global domination might be in Every Time I Die’s future plans. Wait and see. Until then, might as well catch their hometown gig that celebrates the New Junk.

donny kutzbach

Every Time I Die returns home to Buffalo this Saturday, October 10 for a show at Town Ballroom.

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