Album review

Every Time I Die : Hot Damn!
Ferret Records / Roadrunner Records

Every Time I Die : Hot Damn!This is fantastic. For once I honestly don't know where to start or what to say. What I can tell you is that Hot Damn! is a striking record that will demand attention in even the loosest context of the word. A frantic blend of distortion and wise writing, Hot Damn! is plain captivating.

After hearing the bomb-dropper that is Romeo A Go-Go, it's almost impossible to believe that an album of this velocity and aural impact is so easy to get into. But that's the best thing about it - it isn't a record that crawls up your leg painfully slowly; you put it on, you hear it, and you love it.
    The tuneful singing is invariably the key to Every Time I Die's sweet sound. While otherwise Every Time I Die's rocketing noise is similar to that of former tour-mates Converge, the band set themselves miles apart by singing rather than screaming. Yes, you can actually make out the words without studying the booklet like a PC manual. This makes for an incredible contrast between the hard guitars, cascading drums and bittersweet vocals, and one that is certainly welcome as far as I'm concerned.

While the songs are speedy and thumping, the theme that is prevalent through the ten tracks is love, however strange it may seem. "I will never make love in this town again," "The best lovers are murderers first" and "Drag the lake, you'll find it full of love" are lyrics you could expect to lift from a tasty offering by Alkaline Trio - both grim and romantic in equal portions. The lyrics throughout are dislocated and remain open for individual interpretation. You have to construct your own meaning rather than take them at face value.
    Album highlights include Godspeed Us To Sea (featuring the fabulous line, "We are not even remotely capable of keeping our heads about us.") and the beautifully serene In The Event That Everything Should Go Terribly Wrong. The three live bonus tracks tagged on the end of Hot Damn! are worth checking out, even if it's just for the acoustic cover of I Used To Love Her, originally by Guns N' Roses.

As caring as it is brutal and as melodic as it is discordant, Hot Damn! has been hand crafted with passion.

:: Graham Drummond

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