LIVE: Every Time I Die / ’68 @ Brooklyn Bowl, London

By Christopher Lee

For the second time this year Buffalo’s finest hardcore band Every Time I Die roll through London Town demolishing yet another venue in their wake. Having taken up residency for a week earlier in the year Keith Buckley & co return to play… a bowling alley because who doesn’t want to bowl a strike and then look over their shoulder to see the chaos that is an ETID set playing out behind them.

Before the main event¬†though are Atlanta two piece ’68 who return to the UK for the first time in 12 months with their brand of raw rock. Having released their debut album back in 2014 Josh & Michael waste no time in getting the crowd ready for the inevitable chaos. There’s not much movement in the crowd during their set but that’s more than likely due to those in attendance saving their energy for ETID. I’d tell you which tracks they played exactly but as none of them have an actual title simply being titled ‘Track 1’ etc it was at times hard to tell when one song finished and the next started but it was certainly evident when the set was over as Michael began taking his drum kit apart piece by piece leaving the stage to great applause.

Now for what I can only describe as total chaos but if you’ve been in attendance at an ETID gig before, you’ll know that no words can truly describe the experience. The band casually stroll on stage to thunderous cheers and almost immediately the venue is transformed into a storm of movement as Buckley¬†commands there to be crowd surfers during the opening of ‘Glitches.’ In fairness from this point on there’s no respite, no breaks, no dip in tempo just 75 minutes of utter insanity. From the opening salvo another new track ‘C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)’ and the less new ‘Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space’ stand out in what is technically as epic performance as always.

They power their way through ‘Thirst’, ‘Decayin’ With the Boys’, ‘Petal’ and ‘Bored Stiff’ as the crowd seemingly tear themselves and their minds apart. Another track which stands out amidst the chaos is ‘Wanderlust’ from 2009’s ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ Buckley¬†then finds time to dedicate the next track ‘The New Black’ to anyone who’s been to an ETID show before. It’s amazing that he finds the time to address the crowd at all being that he’s not leaving the crowd surfing solely to he crowd and is joining in the fun. There’s a duo of new tracks from this years incredible album ‘Low Teens’ thrown in midway through the set in the shape of ‘It Remembers’ and ‘The Coin has a Say’ and at some point Buckley¬†knocks a phone out of some poor fellows hand who’s surfed to the stage and then made the mistake of trying to take a selfie.

He does have our best interests at heart though as another crowd surfer stage dives into… the floor during either ‘Ebolarama’ or ‘The Marvelous Slut’ but it’s impossible to tell which. Buckley¬†wastes no time in declaring “That’s the worst stage dive I’ve ever seen, I can see blood! Are you ok?” The set is heading towards its conclusion but there’s still time for another couple of new tracks ‘I Didn’t Want to Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway’ and ‘Map Change’ which sees Buckley¬†tell us that he’s just gonna “hold on to all of these individual shoes” on stage to be collected afterwards.

Before the band finish up their fifth London show of the year there’s time for a crushing performance of yet another new track ‘Fear and Trembling’ which threatens to almost tear the venue apart. By the end of the set there isn’t a single person left not covered in sweat & bruises with absolutely no voice left. If I could sum up the evening in it would be ‘insane’ but the same could be said for Every Time I Die themselves because no one does insane just like them, no one even comes close and who knows, if we’re lucky maybe we’ll get another five shows next year too.

CHRIS LEE