If you listen closely to his lyrics, Keith Buckley, the screaming front-man of Every Time I Die, certainly seems to be a proud man. Yes, if you get past the self deprecating pessimism (a distinguishing characteristic of anything remotely “emo”) and general nonsense (yelling about “Turtles!” and “Superman!” at points) then you’ll encounter lines that refer to his work being studied closely, the way that one might examine (or over-analyse) the Beatles, or perhaps even a historical figure like Shakespeare.
Not that Keith is doing this sort of name-dropping directly, or anything. But when he says things like “I truly believe I’ll be remembered and that even this sentence will be studied,” and “When they unearth these passages, will I appear to be proud?” he seems to imply these songs will in fact survive history. It’s a pretty big sentiment, sounding equal parts badass and bullshit. Indeed, set to the absence of melody and chaotic noise that is metal-core, I am dubious that these “passages” will be widely significant in the distant future. I can, however, see how fans of this metal subgenre might place this album onto a mantle of worship briefly. At least until the next hot hardcore release arrives a week later or so, that is.
New Junk Aesthetic, the band’s fifth full-length effort, is not an album made to gain new fans but, rather, built to maintain. Every Time I Die know how they need to sound and they sound just fine. I especially appreciate the homage to Matthew Wilder’s “Break My Stride” in their closing track. “Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride, ain’t nothing gonna hold me down” is the sort of lyric that translates insanely well to an angry shout. But, sorry Keith, I’m just not convinced that anyone will be studying it like gospel in a few centuries.