In the early 2000s, when I was home schooled when I should have been in middle school, I spent a lot of time on the internet. An inordinate amount, really. I couldn’t get music recommendations from my hellraiser peers, because the only classmate I had was my brother, who is three years my junior.
The two websites I used most often to find new music were Epitonic and Tiny Mix Tapes. I forgot what I had for breakfast yesterday, so I’m going to assume either of those websites was how I discovered Buffalo-based Every Time I Die. Or, I don’t know, could have been one of those internet K-hole things.
I want to say it was 2003, just a few months after Hot Damn! had been released. To give some perspective: YouTube wouldn’t even launch for another two years. It was way more difficult then to find bands outside of the obvious, tried-and-true methods. The same year that YouTube went live is also the same year I found out about Last.fm, another wonderful music-discovery gem.
It’s clear that Last Night in Town is the product of an ambitious but immature young group. Even the band members themselves have gone on record as saying it isn’t the best reflection.
While I wouldn’t at all call it questionable early acumen, the song structures and ideas are an image of the band trying to find itself. Aside from that, there really are some pretty decent songs on here.
“Emergency Broadcast Syndrome” and “Jimmy’s Tango Method” are a clever one-two punch. “Here’s Lookin’ at You” is a passer, but “Punch-Drunk Punk Rock Romance” is a worth a few spins.
“Enter Without Knocking and Notify the Police” sounds like it’s an extension of “Emergency Broadcast Syndrome” – the riff and chord progress is the same. It still sounds like early Number Twelve.
ETID still play “The Logic of Crocodiles” in their live set because of the throwback appeal. It’s a fine song for a live show of ETIDiots, indeed. “Pincushion” is another pass, as is “Nothing Dreadful Ever Happens.”
“California, Gracefully” might just be the best early ETID song. But “Shallow Water Blackout” closes the album on a bit of a slump.
Production wise, Last Night in Town is nothing to write home about, but considering this band had only been around some three years by that point, it’s actually well done, especially for that time period. Home studios at that time weren’t nearly as common, accessible or, quite frankly, able, as they are today. I commend the young ETID for their perseverance through that time-period, and for delivering half an album that led to their eventual stranglehold on the genre not long afterward.
Last Night in Town is a cool picture of what was to come. There’s some jams on here, and some not-so-jams. Worth at least a listen or two.
The alternate cover of the album:
Also, for what it’s worth, I will never be using this same number randomizer (for whatever future project I won’t be doing) again because this is the second Every Time I Die record I’ve written about, in addition to two Thursday albums. Between the two bands, I own 13 of their records, but 13 in 358 is still small odds.
Standout tracks: “The Logic of Crocodiles” and “California, Gracefully” – and maybe “Jimmy’s Tango Method”
Weakest track: “Here’s Lookin’ at You” or “Nothing Dreadful Ever Happens” or “Pincushion”
RIYL: Hardcore, metal. Newer Every Time I Die, Number Twelve Looks Like You, Fear Before, Glassjaw.