Alkaline Trio

This Addiction

Written by: PP on 12/02/2010 06:58:30

Alkaline Trio's seventh studio album "This Addiction" is the bearer of both good news and bad news. The good news are that among the tracklist for the album you'll find several classics-in-the-making, such as "This Addiction", "Dine, Dine My Darling", "Dead On The Floor", and "The American Scream", all recalling the "Maybe I'll Catch Fire" / "From Here To Infirmary" eras from when the band were arguably at their prime in the beginning of the last decade. Many of the melodic hooks in these songs will take you back 10 years when you first discovered the band, and you'll notice how they fit right in with the band's discography as the songs that re-appear most frequently on your playlist. Adriano & Skiba's vocal dynamics are as good as they've always been, perhaps better than in the last two albums, with the joyous, bright singing style in deep contrast to the dark/gothic lyricism, just the way we've always liked it. A couple of new ingenious lyrics have been added to the band's already impressive roster of those; the opening title track provides a perfect example in "you hit me just like heroin, i feel you coursing through my veins [...] this addiction, can't seem to live without you".

The bad news, however, are that there aren't enough strong tracks to carry the entire release. Tracks like "Off The Map", "Lead Poisoning" or "Eating Me Alive", are decent, but they don't withstand comparison to the band's early output, which is bad, because in interviews pre- and post-writing and recording, the band stated they wanted to go back to their roots and write another punk record instead of a rock record. Yes, they've accomplished that, but additional elements like the glam synths on "Eating Me Alive" or the NOFX-styled trumpet on "Lead Poisoning" just feel alien on an Alkaline Trio record. When you've put out six albums with minimal (if any) use of synths, suddenly adding them in such a dominant role as they are in these songs feels out of place. Then we've also got "Draculina", which could've been an explosive ballad similar to "Fuck You Aurora" (one of my personal favorites by the band)", but instead it just drags on and the chorus is borderline annoying - something I didn't expect to ever say about a song by this band.

But don't get me wrong. None of the tracks mentioned in the bad news section are outright bad - "Draculina" excluded - they're merely 'decent'. And when it comes to Alkaline Trio, who are one of the most consistent bands out there, 'decent' is usually still good, which is also the case here. Take a listen to the bouncy "Piss And Vinegar", which is as classic Alkaline Trio as it comes, without being a decade-transcending track like, say, "Stupid Kid" or "Armageddon", so you'll still listen to it from time to time but it won't change your life or anything drastic like that. And there are many more examples like that, plus of course the sublime tracks I mentioned earlier, which means that most Alkaline Trio fans will be content with this release, albeit not decidedly happy.


Download: The American Scream, This Addiction, Dead On The Floor
For the fans of: Bayside, GOB, American Steel, These Green Eyes
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.02.2010
Heart & Skull / Epitaph

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