Sound — 8
If there's something that Every Time I Die can guarantee, it's good old fashioned entertainment. If you've seen the band's now classic video The New Black, then you know that humor is something that abounds in Buffalo quartet. The band has injected a much-needed dose of wit into the metal world, and not surprisingly, there has been a large audience that has latched ETID in return. The latest album The Big Dirty continues in the tradition of tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and even more importantly, still dishes out some of the most memorable, grooving, and bluesy riffs today. To top if tall off, there hasn't been an album title in a while that has combined just the right amount of cheesiness and sleaze that The Big Dirty embodies. The band doesn't worry so much about catchy hooks or recreating The New Black in the opening track No Son Of Mine. It's obvious the band still wants to assure fans it can still deliver a gritty, angry metalcore track. No Son Of Mine is one of the most aggressive tracks on the album and is centered around vocalist Keith Buckley's roaring vocals and a repeating, basic guitar riff. It's the vitriolic lyrics revolving around a less-than-perfect father (the phrase deadbeat dad is thrown around) that gives the track it's punch and ETID saves the truly infectious hooks for later songs. Although a few follow-up tracks like Pigs Is Pigs and Leatherneck don't really do guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams justice, it doesn't take too much longer for the infectious hooks to be whipped out. We'rewolf (even the titles' spellings have a little bit of extra thought put into them) allows ETID to truly show what it's got. With a cowbell to get things started and a dark, almost Danzig-like guitar on the chorus, We'rewolf is the first track to truly impress. The end also features Guitar Hero-worthy riff work that puts it up there with The New Black. Buckley's vocals do gravitate toward a grittier style on The Big Dirty, which although appropriate for metalcore, doesn't really show all of his talent. Rendez-Voodoo features some of his strongest work because he not only has to take on several melodic, traditionally sung sections (with harmonies on top of it all), he also has to bounce back to screaming sections. There are moments when the instruments are stripped down -- at times even just featuring a bass and drum beat --- and Buckley's vocals must take on most of the work. Not surprisingly, Buckley easily accomplishes making Rendez-Voodoo a solid track.
Lyrics — 10
Every Time I Die probably has lured as many fans for its lyrics as its music, and the latest album won't disappoint either group. You would be hard-pressed to name even one song that doesn't include either an extremely memorable line or some sort of lyrical nuance that induces a smile. Pigs Is Pigs has one of the most memorable, stalker-inspired lines when Buckley sings, You know I'm not good at court-ordered good-byes. Then you've got We'rewolf, in which he declares, I've gotten bitten by the party animal and the more introspective You don't live until you're ready to die. And if you're not convinced, The Big Dirty even features Buckley spewing out some over-the-top, religious lyrics -- spoken and not sung, of course.
Overall Impression — 9
In the advance copy we received there was only the audio CD, but the store release will also feature a 45-minute DVD featuring behind the scenes footage from the road as well as from the studio. The band's MySpace site mentioned the bonus DVD is titled "The Dudes and Don'ts of Recording, so that alone would seem to make it worthwhile. It's easy to see why fans have gravitated towards Every Time I Die. There is an extremely likeable, egoless quality that comes across in it's music. Humor can take a band only so far, and luckily ETIE has something a little extra, in particular musical talent. In a world with some great guitarists, Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams have a knack for creating the kind of hooks that draw you in. Tracks like Depressionista don't utilize that talent and it's hard not to be disappointed. Of course, just when you think that might be a trend on The Big Dirty, you get killer songs like Buffalo Gals or We'rewolf, which once again make you a believer.