Sound — 8
To the release of Gutter Phenomenon in 2005, Every Time I Die have already had a lot behind their backs -- a debut LP (2003's Hot Damn!), 7 years of existing, all major fests and endless changes of the bassist. Gutter Phenomenon has a lot more rock feeling to it, than the band's previous releases, but still it's Every Time I Die sound -- a crazy mix of metal, emo, hardcore and rock'n'roll. Every song on the album is like a blast of energy -- fast, furious, shut out of a machine-gun. You'd have to give Gutter Phenomenon a few listens to get into it - besides being multi-styled, music is multi-layered, and not of layers are obvious from the first listen. Gutter Phenomenon is fun to listen to as the band stuffed it with different unexpected things -- such as claps in Pretty Dirty and back vocal chorals in Champing At The Bit. They mix such incompatible things that you can't even imagine to be mixed and do it with such a great taste, that it sounds brilliant. The songs have weird structures -- there are no choruses and no verses. Tracks end as unexpectedly as they start -- no intros or endings, which only adds to the fury feel of the record. The record pace is hardcore-fast with tracks containing a lot of unpredictable tempo changes. What differs the music from plain metalcore is drumwork -- there are no pounding and massive basses that makes your subs shake. Even though there is double bass and a lot of crash cymbals, drums sound light, turning from very very fast to moderate within one song. Between of core and metal distortion chords the guys squeezed in some boogie and rock. Their rock 'n' roll riffs and little guitar solos, appearing everywhere on the record are delicious. The best example is the stand-out The New Black -- it even makes you believe that the good old rock 'n' roll still grooves (the line of gritty tracks after makes you forget about it though). You'll get some fast guitar exercises by Andrew Williams as well. The bass line is not too obvious, it stands out only a few times on the whole album, but when it does, it fits in very well (like leading handclaps in Pretty Dirty).
Lyrics — 7
When it comes to writing music, Buckley says that he's the last one to hear the song only when it's almost done; there he makes up the lyrics and vocals. That approach is obvious when you hear as the vocals follow every little change in the music and it works really well. Buckley switches from angry screamo to the insane emo vocals that pictures Deftones' Chino Moreno in your mind very vividly. Sometimes Buckley's going wild, chasing the music and it seems he's singing in agony. Lyrics are full of sarcasm and rude humor. Most of the time you only guess what he's singing about as it's a big mess and a game of words not stunning, we're just stunned from The New Black). The album is full of funny bold expressions worth quoting - like Put down the sheriff's horse" in Gloom And How It Gets That Way.
Overall Impression — 8
The only thing Every Time I Die are serious about is turning their business into ridiculous hardcore game of bastards. Guys pretend to be as schizophrenic and ridiculous in everything as though there're trying to outdo Tom Green, talking about dicks, asses, c*nts. Profiles on their website quote What are you looking at, p--sy?" (for Keith Buckley) and Let me hold you d*ck when you pee (for Chris Byrnes) and the stand-out line on the album is Hey there, girls! A cunt! 'They don't care' approach allows them to make music out of whatever comes to their minds, excepting all the rules, and that's what makes then sound awesome.