…or is it trying to teach me poetry?
I only ask because every so often it does this thing where it won’t allow me to eject the CD. This leaves me with three options as I drive back and forth between tutoring gigs and shopping mall coffee shops: one, sit in silence; two, listen to a bit of You & Yours on Radio 4 with Winifred Robinson; or three, listen to the same CD, over and over, until, eventually—inexplicably—it decides to eject itself and I can put in a different album and repeat the whole process.
The album currently stuck in my stereo is Hot Damn! by the New York metalcore mob, Every Time I Die. Easy listening it ain’t, but sixteen spins of the same CD has definitely granted me a greater appreciation of frontman Keith Buckley’s wonderful wordsmithery. Buckley, a former school teacher who grew up listening to rap, isn’t exactly your typical hardcore “bro”, and his lyrics—co-written by the other members of the band—veer between golden nuggets of tongue-in-cheek brilliance and other, more intriguing articulations that pulse with the beat of a poet’s dark heart. I likey a lot.
Below, then, is a selection of my favourite ETID lines, from across the band’s back catalogue, posted here until I get sued, or told to take them down.
What we’re doing is so wrong
And what you’re wearing is so right (it’s so tight)
But I’ve never felt better, so I’m going out to get her
And I don’t care what set of wheels I steal to get there…”
‘I Been Gone A Long Time’, Hot Damn!, 2003
“Don’t let your dreamers grow up to be dead men
Drown us at birth, save her some time.”
‘Floater’, Hot Damn!, 2003
“When we keep hell in our hearts, we make no excuse for our genius
So what’s my excuse now that hell has abandoned me?”
- ‘INRIhab’, The Big Dirty, 2007
“Look away, it’s too much to bear
I’ve been bitten by the party animal
Save yourself, save yourself
And tell my baby that I loved her so…”
- ‘We’rewolf’, The Big Dirty, 2007
“At the bottom of the first drink I found my nerve, at the bottom of the next I met my girl.
At the bottom of the third drink I found a fourth, and at the bottom of that one was a Trojan horse…”
- ‘Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow’, Ex-Lives, 2012
“As long as your name is on my list, or your story written in the choruses
Then true death couldn’t get you
But when it’s spoken for the last time
A weight is lifted, a third eye
So I make a vow to forget you.”
- ‘Indian Giver’, Ex-Lives, 2012
“Sever the nerve, the skin, the scale
Gather your bones from beyond the pale.
Come out of the wild and into the world
Burn all the books, put out your eyes […]
Love is the way.
Love is the only way.
Love is the only way out…”
- ‘Pelican of the Desert’, From Parts Unknown, 2014