Flash back to Buffalo, New York in 1998.
Metallic hardcore was booming. Bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge and Coalesce were jostling for space amongst North America’s VFW halls and 200-cap dive bars. Sparked into the existence by the meeting of guitarists Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley – the former’s muscular NYHC tendencies complimented by the latter’s fidgety invention – ETID offered something different. Jordan’s older brother Keith was a teacher-in-training at the time, interested in songwriting more as an outlet for his literary tendencies than as the cathartic release it would become, but his wild side made him a frontman to be reckoned with.
They became a perfectly balanced triumvirate: brains, brawn, wildcard energy. Rhythm sections (latterly, long-serving bassist Stephen Micciche and drummer Clayton 'Goose' Holyoak) were integral to the band’s tightly-woven sound, but they were driven by the central players’ combustible chemistry.
ETID’s early releases were characterised by their combination of clever-clever concepts, wry wordplay (Guitarred And Feathered, Rendez-Voodoo, Rebel Without Applause…) and unhinged, almost feral energy: the product of young men willing to push up to and beyond each other’s limits physically, technically and intellectually. Live shows were the most visceral realisation of that, transforming what were awkward, unruly slices of sound on record into force-five tornados of blood, sweat and beer. And for those who couldn’t make it out to a show? Infamous 2006 tour DVD Shit Happens stoked a reputation as testosterone-fuelled, taco-pounding, shit-chatting, hair-on-fire hellraisers that would be merrily lived up to.