Tag Archives: Epitaph

Album Review: Every Time I Die – Ex Lives

Buffalo, NY’s punk / metalheads, Every Time I Die (ETID), recently dropped an all new release titled Ex Lives on Epitaph Records.  Produced by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age), the album shot up the Billboard charts very quickly and landed in the top 20s.  That right there has go to tell you something.

This marks the sixth full-length release for the five piece band in their 14 year career.  That’s not to say that the last 14 years have been easy for ETID as their line up has been a revolving door with members coming and going.  Even with the challenges of keeping the band intact, ETID managed to continue on and after hearing Ex Lives, I have to say I am glad they did.  I will point out I am not the biggest ETID fan.  I know what they are capable of and appreciate all that they do in the music world.  In other words, I am one of those people who love “We’rewolf”.

The album starts off beyond insane with “Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space” (nice title by the way).  “I want to be dead with my friends” repeats at the beginning of this fast, brutal song that pretty much got me all sorts of excited to hear the rest of the album.  Keith Buckley and crew sound amazing on this track. 

“I Suck (Blood)” was just a thrashed mess of screaming and guitar playing guaranteed to keep you angry.   “Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow” had a Southern rock vibe throughout but kept things moving for the best.  Kind of reminded me of when Pantera jumped off their path on some of their songs back in the day. 

I will say that “Revival Mode” caught my attention as it took a complete total different route and was more or less a 90s grunge rock song at times, but I liked it for what it was worth.  (Seriously, did anyone else hear some Layne Stanley in there?)

“Drag King” made me wonder how Buckley still has vocal chords with all that screaming, but he was able to add some melodic singing throughout the track.  The fast-paced “Touch Yourself” followed and all I could think of was a sea of kids going ballistic at a live ETID show.  Ending things was “Indian Giver”, a darker track that praised the loss of a good person.

I’ve seen reviews of this album already and some people think some of the sound sound recycled from New Junk Aesthetic.  I can’t say I am hearing the same things from their previous releases, but the style remains, and that is what makes a band what they are.  If you are into insane screaming and metal formed around some very intense lyrics, you should check out Ex Lives.

ETID will be on the Van’s Warped Tour this summer.  I have seen them in the past life and will tell you, they are not a show to be missed. 

Track List:
Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
Holy Book of Dilemma
A Wild, Shameless Plain
Typical Miracle
I Suck (Blood)
Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow
The Low Road Has No Exits
Revival Mode
Drag King
Touch Yourself
Indian Giver

The Menzingers Sign With Epitaph!

Your friends and mine, The Menzingers, are probably doing a happy dance today as they were just signed to Epitaph Records.  Congrats guys.  You deserve it.

This Scranton, PA band impressed me with their release last year entitled Chamberlain Waits as well as blew me away when I saw them live when they opened for Swingin’ Utters last summer.

I’m looking forward to what happens next for this young, amazing punk rock foursome.

A word from Epitaph about the news:

Epitaph Records is thrilled to announce the signing of up and coming Scranton raised, Philadelphia based punk rock outfit The Menzingers.The band’s fiery early releases and dynamic crowd pleasing live performances on tours supporting Anti Flag and Against Me! have created a serious buzz and landed the group on several best of lists. Their high energy sound features crashing power chords, rock steady drumming and anthemic sing-along choruses alongside poetic salt of the earth lyrics in the vein of Against Me! and Gaslight Anthem.
Epitaph Founder and President Brett Gurewitz proclaims, “These guys play the kind of pure punk rock that I grew up with. They are seriously talented songwriters and I’m happy to welcome them to the Epitaph family. I think the band is a great fit here.”

Stay tuned to www.epitaph.comfor upcoming news and futher details.

Album Review: Thursday – No Devolución

I remember the first time I heard the one time post-hardcore/screamo outfit Thursday.  They were of a genre of music I swore I would never get into, but there was something about them I really was attracted to.  Over the years I have watched them mature into phenomenal musicians and it’s no surprise that they decided to try something differently on their sixth studio release.

No Devolución is perhaps the band’s most involved album to date.  It is not like any of their previous material and at times and really feels like a well put together work of genius.  Geoff Rickly still does wonders with his signing ability while the rest of the band seems to have really mellowed out this round.  This is the bands second release under Epitaph Records.

“Fast To The End”, a catchy rock jam, opened up the album.  Rickly and crew seemed to keep to that known Thursday sound intact with some screaming thrown in around.   

“No Answers” without a doubt was my choice track thanks to the catchy synths that easily could be compared to MGMT.  The song flowed so well throughout with very poignant lyrics talking of relations with Rickly singing “No answers, no answers when you’re around” at the end of the track.  Sad track, but beyond amazing to listen to.

The piano playing throughout “Sparks Against The Sun” made for a nice, gentle feel throughout.  The song itself was easy on the ears with the synths and distorted bass lines backing calm singing. 

“Open Quotes” on the other hand had a more aggressive approach.  Hinting back at some of older Thursday material, the track had a couple shouts and screams and a little added distorted guitar playing, but overall really could have been a tougher track.  It just seemed to dissolve by the end.

Starting slow was “Past And Future Ruins”, a killer track with heavy Muse matching guitar riffs as well as xylophone both over a steady floor tom beat.  Rickly had no problem showcasing his vocal ability throughout and even tosses it in a distorted mess a couple of times giving for a very loathing tone.

“Empty Glass” was a sad, sad song.  Although beautifully put together, the track was gloomy as hell and easily could bring the happiest person down to a whimpering lull.  The electronic driven music along the pitch-shifting singing was haunting yet almost comforting to listen to.

“A Gun In The First Act” was a darker sounding track with very NIN simular synthesizers in the background.  The more I listened to it, the more I heard NIN’s version of “Dead Souls” originally performed by Joy Division in it.  Overall the track was amazing and was one of my favorite cuts off the album.

“Turnpike Divides” brought the energy back with a old school Thursday feel to it.  The track is a no-place-like-home tribute to good ol’ New Jersey.  I loved the Bruce Springsteen reference, “it’s hard to sleep when you’re born to run.”  This was another song I enjoyed a lot and just stood out over all the other tracks.

Putting an end to the masterpiece called No Devolución was “Stay True”, a motivational track aimed at just about anyone who wants to give it a listen.  The Rollins-esque lyrics were quite stern yet compelling to follow along to.  Aimed at a novice in life, this song has the ability to shed guidance on those who are looking for answers.  Sometimes all it takes is a song for someone to guide them in the right direction.

No Devolución has made me a bigger Thursday fan.  Over the years, my music taste tends to change and I find myself getting discouraged sometimes are bands who never challenge themselves.  Sometimes the outcome is a disaster, but I have to hand it to Thursday, they put together an outstanding release without forgetting who they once were, and still are.

Thursday will be coming back to Cleveland on 7/23 during their tour with Taking Back Sunday at the House Of Blues.  Tickets are $27.50 and are on sale now.

Bad Religion Celebrates Fans & Band History w/ New Video

Just caught this amazing video for “Wrong Way Kids” that dropped a couple days ago by one of my all-time favorite punk rock bands.  Bad Religion never ceases to amaze me…

A little bit about the video from Epitaph:

Influential punk rockers Bad Religion have released a moving video for the new single, “Wrong Way Kids” from the group’s critically heralded album, The Dissent of Man. The song is an up-tempo, powerfully melodic tribute to the band and their fan’s shared histories as rebellious yet durable outsiders.

The footage begins in present day with lead singer Greg Graffin offering a knowing message of hope for Bad Religion’s many fans: “Even though they’re misfits,” he states, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” A subsequent shot reveals a defiantly unconventional Graffin on stage with the band back in 1984 counting down the song intro. From there it’s a surging beat, powerful guitars and signature sing-along chorus set against a stirring non stop montage of found footage showing the band’s remarkable rise from teen rebels to international punk luminaries.

Seriously, how cool is that video?  Young and old Bad Religion footage really shows how far 30-years can go.

The grandfathers of punk will actually be playing a show in Cleveland on May 7th.  Sadly they are opening for Rise Against.  If you ask me, Rise Against should be opening for them.

Sadly I will not be attending the show.  I want to, I really want to.  This will be the first Bad Religion show I have missed since they played the Rock Hall a couple years ago as a suprise guest.  This is one of those bands I make sure I am present at every show, but sometimes I can’t make them all.

Let’s Talk About Weezer…

September 14th is right around the corner and if you are a Weezer fan like I am you know that it is the day that Hurley will be released on Epitaph Records.  This will be the band’s first release on an independent label in their 17 years as a band.  Focusing on the rock over the pop this round the album has grabbed my attention in a major way.  See for yourself – head over to www.myspace.com/weezer and listen to Hurley in its entirety.  You can also download their first single entitled “Memories” courtesy of Spinner.com.

The album title, if you have not figured it out yet, comes from one of the more memorable characters from one of the greatest TV series of my time, Lost, and might just be my favorite Weezer cover ever.  Have you even seen the cover for Hurley yet?

Yeah, that is great.  Jorge Garcia spoke to MTV recently on how he felt about being the inspiration for the latest release.  As much as I despise MTV I did get a kick out of reading his reaction on his mug being on an album cover.

Here is a video from Spin.com with what looks like a very happy Rivers Cuomo: