Release Date: August 23, 2005
Reviewed by Andy Schwegler

For some reason, these guys seem to be able to cut through all of the bullshit “Metalcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo-core / Melodic hardcore or whatever the hell it is called these days” bands. Maybe it’s their wonderful arranged yet frantic and sporatic music that still allows for catchy hooks and choruses while maintaining their heavy/punishing delivery. Maybe it is also because front man, Keith, is able to take the edge off (no pun intended) with his tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

Their latest release, Gutter Phenomenon, is no exception to these qualities. Every track is faster, more relentless, and just as aggressive as their previous releases, yet the vocals have received a touch of melody. If you have listened to each of their releases, this added range in the vocals comes as no surprise. It was present in Hot Damn! but it took this release for it to become fully apparent. To not stray anyone in the wrong direction, it is not as though they have added tracks that completely kill the pacing of the record, the vocal melody simply compliments the sophistication in the music. Look for some delicious cowbells and dirty swagger in songs like “The New Black” and “Tusk and Temper”. What made Hot Damn! so damn good is carried through in songs like “Bored Stiff” and “Gloom and How It Gets That Way”. Also look for some extra guests, such as Daryl from Glassjaw/Head Automatica in “Champing At The Bit” but, quite frankly, doesn’t add anything to album.

If you have listened to Everytime I Die and enjoyed their previous work, this will make you extremely happy. If you didn’t like their other releases, you suck. If you haven’t heard of these humble, honest, gentlemen from New York (the state not the city) more specifically Buffalo; you probably will in a few months with their new tour with My Chemical Romance in Europe. Jump on this before you start seeing their killer disco shirt everywhere.

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