Though I had heard their notable single “Ebolarama” in passing a year or so before, it wasn’t until the release of 2005’s Gutter Phenomenon that the shitty dudes in Every Time I Die stepped into my life. I remember coming home from school one afternoon and seeing the music video for “Kill the Music” on IMF (yeah, remember that?) and just being enthralled by its unique sound and swagger. I hadn’t heard anything like it at the time and would keep my eyes glued to the TV in the hopes the video would be replayed.
At this point in their discography the band started to really embrace the hard and southern rock aspects of their sound, while maintaining a semblance of metalcore angularity and hardcore grit. As a kid whose previous frame of reference for heavy music was FM radio rock, and as one who was just starting to discover the more aggressive sides of punk and metal, Gutter Phenomenon and Every Time I Die were essential slippery slopes into a world of gnarly tunes.