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Power Chords Galore, Alkaline Trio Release Boring Seventh Album

Is it possible for the mix of straight drum beats and power chords to get old? I think I’ve found the answer and it does not bode well for Illinois rockers Alkaline Trio. Right from the get go you get the idea that they are harkening back to their roots, releasing an album that would of fit perfectly into a ‘90s Napster download list. Unfortunately, in 2010 this sound has become dated.

With many of the songs sounding exactly the same, there is a skip mentality throughout a lot of the album. You hear one song and then when the next one sounds the same you are ready for the next track. The first two songs (“This Addiction” and “Dead on the Floor”) on the record are a perfect example of this. The third song “Lead Poisoning” brings something new but ends up sounding like an homage to mid ‘90s punk like early Green Day or Blink 182.

What has made other bands from this era relevant today is a fresh sound, playing off of what they did well years ago. AFI, another band with deep ‘90s roots put out a fresh album in 2009 and had solid singles to back it up. That might be what is missing most from “This Addiction.” With all the songs sounding the same, it always feels like your reaching for something and not reaching it. Track five “The American Scream” begins to sound like a plateau before delivering more of the same.

“Eating Me Alive” is probably the best song on the album, displaying an ear pleasing chorus and break from the rest of the albums sound. Unfortunately the feeling is short lived as it is one of the shortest tracks. “Piss and Vinegar” also brings out some new sounds similar to many bands on the new age indie circuit in New York (sounding similar to bands like Airborne Toxic Event).

When the album ends with the last notes of “Those Lungs” (a fast paced kick ass punk anthem), you are left with a general thought of emptiness. There is nothing there to make you come back and not one song on the album resonates with the listener. To die hard fans of Alkaline Trio this album more than likely met your expectations but without a devotion to the band I can’t see this being an album that will last long.

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4 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by Gregory Despain posted April 29, 2010 at 14:56

    good article.

  • Comment by You Are A Moron posted September 23, 2010 at 16:51

    You are a moron.

  • Comment by Kenny O'Brien posted May 28, 2012 at 22:16

    Music changes, people change. This album is just as great as the others. Matt and Dan have stuck to there general punk roots. Its annoying when i just see people like you bashing on the new sound. Its just like the a day to remember cd what separates me from you. They updated there style to fit todays youth. the next generation of music. They will always be alkaline trio, even when they are old men, the will always be alkaline trio. ALK3 <3

  • Comment by Mike Cyr posted October 27, 2012 at 20:56

    I personally think this is a great album,a saving grace for me from all those garbage bands today which in fact are lame imitations of all those great napster era punk bands.Having said that,you are right in that ‘Eating Me Alive’ is a great song and the best on the album.