If you are going to call your album ‘The Big Dirty’, then there has to be a certain amount of grime, swagger and guts in the music to be able to back it up. All of this is something that Buffalo, New York’s quartet has in barrels full.
After three great albums that received much critical acclaim and touring around the world to an ever-growing fan base, to say that this album has been anticipated would be an understatement. The fourth instalment from Every Time I Die is one full of excitement from beginning to end and whether you’re a new fan of the band or a long-time fan, you won’t be disappointed.
Starting off quickly and at 100 miles per hour with ‘No Son Of Mine’, front man Keith Buckley’s strengthened vocals are straight in your face along with ferocious drumming from stickman Mike Novak and guitar riffs heavy enough to blow out your speakers and the song leaves no guesses to how brutal every other track will be.
Songs ‘We’rewolf’ and ‘Rendez-Voodoo’ give the album a fresh and innovative edge as the music flows perfectly and the southern-influenced melodies cause a surge of energy to blast you away as well as somehow being songs that you could easily dance to (or mosh to – either way, they’re great songs). ‘INRIhab’ follows this path as well but that doesn’t make it any less original or exhilarating. With the help of Alexisonfire’s Dallas Green, the song propels to a new level and can be considered one of the main bright spots of the album with screeching lyrics, ‘Give me the strength to be widowed now that the honeymoon's over. Grant me the privileges saved for the sailors. Condemned with you all. Goddamn you all.’
The heaviness reaches new heights with ‘Pigs Is Pigs’ and ‘A Gentleman’s Sport’, as they deliver brutal and angry touches to an already heated album, layered with distorted guitars and upbeat tempos that lead the album through in an appropriate way to ‘Depressionista’, which is another highlight with an immense in your-face-chorus,’ 'Til death do we rock? We're so full of s**t. 'Til death do we rock! You keep buying it’, that shoves a witty shot in the direction of bands that ‘sell out’ and lack the credibility they once had, as well as the fans that buy into it all.
‘Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Battery’ is a great finisher to the album. With a chorus as catchy as any and a straight to the point drollness that Every Time I Die have become known for.
In 36 minutes everything the band has ever wanted to say, seems to have been said with a tongue-in-cheek view of the world and all it’s problems and adventures. They show a vast sense of humour while still bringing intensity to their music that is rarely seen presented in such a way these days.
A clear thing is that the album seems like one big party filled with dirt, flamboyance and sarcasm along with perfectly arranged musimanship and harmonic melodies.
The incredible hooks and tempo changes on this album are countless, and that what makes it an album so unique and special. It has creativity, cleverness and enough catchy choruses to last you a lifetime.
‘The Big Dirty’ walks a road in between the band’s last two albums (2003’s Hot Damn! And 2005’s Gutter Phenomenon) but ultimately delivers the gritty southern influenced rock and hardcore that has made Every Time I Die so renowned and fascinating.
* * * *
- Amy Parker