LIZ VAN PAY

the ramblings of a music journalist and nearly-published author.

Album Review: Alkaline Trio – This Addiction

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Anybody who knows anything about me knows that the Alkaline Trio are one of my favorite bands of all time. I own countless t-shirts, pay yearly to be a member of their ‘Blood Pact’ fan club, and can recite most of their lyrics on demand. Ever since I heard their self-titled album way back when, I’ve been hooked.

Last week, they released their newest album, This Addiction. Out on Epitaph Records along with their own Heart & Skull label, the album promised to be a blast back to the sound they crafted early on, and the band definitely delivered. Less auto-tune, less big production – a stripped down, back-to-basics Alkaline Trio record.

While the band found success with previous releases Good Mourning, Crimson, and Agony and Irony, the themes stayed the same but something was missing. With many radio-friendly songs that lent themselves to picking up new fans along the way, it felt like something was missing – something that was definitely found with their newest project.

The songs continue to keep a dark theme throughout, but the band definitely experimented with different sounds, such as trombone used in “Lead Poisoning” that makes it feel almost like it belongs on a ska record. “Eating Me Alive” has backing instrumentals that make it sound like a takeoff of 80’s new wave. The album is full of experimentation, which merges together to keep older Trio fans happy, and even pick up a few more along the way. Personally, my favorite tracks are the above as well as “Draculina” and “Dine, Dine My Darling”.

For those interested in the split between songs performed by Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano, there are three ‘Dan songs’ and the remainder ‘Matt songs’, but the deluxe edition of the album contains two additional songs, both sung by Andriano: “Kick Rocks” and “Those Lungs”.

If you were expecting the band to create another album identical to Agony and Irony, you will be sorely disappointed. If you go into listening with an open mind, it’s impossible to be disappointed. This Addiction is the best Alkaline Trio album in years, and if their #11 Billboard chart debut doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what will.

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Written by Liz Van Pay

March 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm

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