You might think there are heavier bands than Every Time I Die, you might think there are better bands than Every Time I Die, but bands cooler than Every Time I Die? Thinking of any is damn near impossible. The buffalo five-piece have been one of the most crucial bands in hardcore over the last 20 years with their fusion of hardcore menace and southern good-time-spirit, making for music that’s crushing, but also often a hell of a blast. Whilst 2001 debut, Last Night In Town, showed a lot of promise, it was really here, in 2003 with Hot Damn!, that the real fun began.

“it was really here, in 2003 with Hot Damn!, that the real fun began…”

Hot Damn! plays like the best kind of gangster film. Every Time I Die arm themselves with the most knife-flicked riffs, go on a night of danger and debauchery, have a blast through every high and low and do it all with style. Like the best movies though, Hot Damn! doesn’t just kick-ass, it speaks to something deep within your soul.

Musically, Hot Damn! displayed everything the band were capable of and even now, amongst their (near flawless) eight-album discography, best represents the Every Time I Die experience. Jordan Buckley and Andrew Williams’s riffs combine hardcore brutality, rock n roll fun and Hot Damn! sees a bit more of a frantic mathcore aspect than future releases, enhancing this chaotic adventure.

Then there’s Keith Buckley, maybe the most talented, witty, cleaver lyricist in metal. It’s no surprise to find out that this guy used to teach English and even went on to become an author. Every line in Hot Damn! is what’s most vital for creating its adrenaline-fueled, into-the-flames atmosphere. There’s bonkers statements that might not make the most sense, but are just fucking badass, such as ‘Tonight I’m coming home, in a coma, if it fucking kills me’ which opens up the record in Romeo-A-Go-Go.

There’s statements that make you think like ‘The greatest lovers were murderers first.’ There’s inspiring guidance ‘when the urgency strikes you, you’d better not lose your nerve, it’s a rush that the cockroaches get, at the end of the world’ which is the push you need to stage dive, ask someone out, roll the dice, whatever you’re feeling hesitant about before taking that leap of faith. Buckley delivers everything like the larger-than-life madman character of any tale you can compare Hot Damn! to.

“there’s basically every emotion you can possibly have on the wildest, intoxicated, dangerous, but thrillingly rewarding night out of your life.”

There’s the despair of Floater, the sleaze of I’ve Been Gone A Long Time, the verging-on-passing-out haze of instrumental In The Event That Everything Should Go Terribly Wrong; there’s basically every emotion you can possibly have on the wildest, intoxicated, dangerous, but thrillingly rewarding night out of your life. Hardcore isn’t the first genre of music that springs to mind when you think of party music; but as well as being a brutal band, an intense band, at least on Hot Damn!, Every Time I Die are absolutely a party band.

The influence this record went on to have on everyone from Gallows to Bring Me The Horizon, and the amount of people that have collaborated with the boys since, from Sean Ingram of Coalesce to Gerard Way; isn’t surprising when you listen to this record, because you can’t listen to Hot Damn! and not wanna be like or apart of the coolest gang in town.

WORDS: MAX CUSSONS 

Every Time I Die play this year’s Slam Dunk festival on May 26th-28th, GRAB YOUR TICKETS NOW!

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