Every Time I Die’s eighth full-length, Low Teens, can be described as the perfect summation of their career. The Buffalo bad boys have been crushing the metalcore/hardcore/southern rock game for well over a decade now (even if they’re one of the only bands participating in this mashup of genres). What has kept ETID alive and thriving for so long has been their ability to consistently deliver meaningful and eclectic heavy music.
Low Teens offers a little bit of every record that ETID have previously released. We have the return of the soaring, unpredictable melodies of Gutter Phenomenon, the Hot Damn!-eque breakdowns and even a feature from another emo heavyweight, Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco. (Gerard way of My Chemical Romance and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy have both been featured on previous records.) For the first time ever we get a track where vocalist Keith Buckley sings on the entire track without any screams (“Two Summers”). But don’t let it fool you into thinking this going to be a hard rock, radio-friendly record—it is far from that.
There is an amazing duality to Low Teens that, without backstory, is easy to go unnoticed. On the surface, Every Time I Die sound like they’re having the most fun on record that they’ve ever had. But the lyrical undertones inspired by Keith Buckley’s experience of almost losing his wife and newborn child in the winter of 2015 add a level of emotion to Low Teens that fans have never heard before. There is a serious emotional weight heard in songs like “Petal” where Keith really sounds like he’s been pushed to the brink mentally. The instrumental supporting cast of ETID does an excellent job of conveying these emotions as well. Every track on this record has a sense of urgency, almost like you’re driving on a bridge that’s collapsing behind you—except it’s much more personal.
Low Teens is a record that all fans of heavy music should not miss out on. You can bet Every Time I Die will be heavily supporting this record over the next couple of years, so you better learn some new pit moves and head out to a Die show!
by Mike McNamara