Every Time I Die isn't a hardcore band -- at least, it isn't anymore. On Gutter Phenomenon, the Buffalo band adopts a much more straightforward rock sound in tracks like the heavy "Tusk and Temper." ETID exemplifies hardcore's roots in punk rock as well, keeping things high-speed and gritty (the production value is slick, but the actual sound is dirty). The five-piece still plays hardcore breakdowns, but in the case of "Kill the Music," there's also a dancing bass line and chugging guitars reminiscent of Mötley Cröe. The bass throws back even further on "The New Black," with a heavy groove that conjures thoughts of Thin Lizzy. ETID didn't completely abandon its style -- "Bored Stiff" sounds like the songs on Hot Damn!, shifting between slow and spastic. (Keith Buckley's vocals sound amazing when he's screaming, but strained and whiny when he's singing.) Another reminder that this is still ETID is a line in "Champing at the Bit": "This is the year of the party crasher." True to their lyrics, these guys know how to throw down after a good show.
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