March 06, 2012 - Epitaph
This review originally ran in AP 285.
Although producer Joe Barresi (Coheed And Cambria, Parkway Drive) was enlisted to refine and redirect Every Time I Die’s hardcore-steeped classic-rock methodology for Ex Lives, all of his best intentions didn’t go far enough. Sure, you can swear you’re hearing steam coming off of guitarist Jordan Buckley’s fingertips, and frontman Keith Buckley sings more melodically than he has on previous offerings. (“Revival Mode” is a biker prayer somewhere between Band Of Skulls and Steppenwolf.) But much of Ex Lives is encumbered by well-trodden ground turned muddy (“I Suck (Blood),” “Touch Yourself”) and attempts at atmosphere (the arbitrary guitar textures on “The Low Road Has No Exits” and “Indian Giver”). Nobody is demanding ETID be augmented by a string quartet, a troupe of ballerinas or a dude operating Keith Emerson’s legendary Moog bank (well, maybe if said dude was Underoath’s Chris Dudley), but if elements of Ex Lives sound familiar to you, it’s because 2009’s New Junk Aesthetic is still firmly lodged in your hard drive. (Caveat Emptor: The real payoff lies in the three additional cuts on the deluxe version.)
Converge’s Axe To Fall
Queens Of The Stone Age’s Lullabies To Paralyze
Band Of Skulls’ Baby Darling Doll Face Honey