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Western New York's Every Time I Die stands out over the usual hardcore screamo outfits. Want proof? Well, the quintet's vocals are unique for starters, as they maintain a sense of ordered chaos and imply immediate attention, as Keith Buckley's manic delivery teeters between Tourette's victim and tortured soul. The song topics are lascivious and out of character for bands that play this heavy as well. What other hardcore band has a picture of a lesbian kiss on its album cover, and has song titles like "Romeo A Go-Go" and "Pornogratherapy"? And, be serious folks, what other hardcore band uses a cowbell (definitely the best use of the cowbell since Motley Crue's "Livewire", by the way)? Pushing boundaries musically, tastefully, and within its own genre, the 10-tracks that comprise HOT DAMN take the tough guy mentality and add a bit of depth, making Every Time I Die conceptual geniuses and heroes to thoughtful hardcore fans everywhere.
- Mike SOS