It’s very easy to state that Every Time I Die are the best band in modern metal and mean it. The New York natives have never released a bad record. Honestly, never. That’s my opinion anyhow, and I know it’s an opinion shared by many others. Every Time I Die are as consistent as they come, and fifth LP New Junk Aesthetic was the point in their discography at which I really discovered the band, and what follows is eight years full of meaty riffs and venomous vocals. Keith Buckley’s roar has been a regular reference for offsetting routine aggression, and he’s at his best on New Junk Aesthetic. Lyrically, vocally, instrumentally, this is Every Time I Die at their untouchable best, although you’ll find people who say the exact same about some of the bands recent material as well. Universally revered and respected, Every Time I Die are kings, and I view New Junk as their crowning glory.
Released: 2009 Label: Epitaph Records
Pressing: Unknown Purchased from: Amazon.co.uk
I used to work a fairly shitty job at my towns local football stadium, and that job consisted of three-hour shifts sitting pitch side, watching the crowd and keeping tabs on troublemakers. It was a job I only ever enjoyed when I was able to see the pitch and, therefore, the game. Every now and then I was being paid to watch football, but most of the time I was paid simply to sit still and freeze. After each forgettable shift, I made sure the walk home was memorable. It took me forty minutes to walk home, and fortunately New Junk Aesthetic clocks in at thirty-eight. On that walk home I’d be able to experience some catharsis, venting my frustration at my position by letting Every Time I Die vent. I always arrived home feeling better, if not necessarily looking forward to my next shift.
There’s a lot more to New Junk Aesthetic than it’s cutthroat attitude to songwriting. It’s spirited, dynamic, and rife with southern-metal hooks. It’s a shape-shifting behemoth of a record that doesn’t follow the same formula throughout. Even now, after eight years of familiarity, it feels fresh – from the venom of The Marvellous Slut to the rollercoaster ride of White Smoke. It’s fourth track Wanderlust that really stands out though, and I consider it to be Every Time I Die’s best song, selected from a discography of almost exclusively strong songs. Buckley’s wails, the thunderous riffs, the scything guitars – Wanderlust is a masterpiece in modern metal – as is New Junk Aesthetic.
“Oh, lord knows I’m tired
but I won’t rest my head until I’m home,
and if my hands find themselves another body, well
you can”t blame them for trying to keep warm”