Alkaline Trio

Broken Wing EP

Written by: PP on 12/07/2013 20:16:58

Earlier this year Alkaline Trio released a brilliant album in "My Shame Is True", a twelve song effort containing some of the best material the band has written since their early years. And if you bought the deluxe edition of the album, you also received a four track bonus EP called "Broken Wing", which was also released separately for those of us with the standard edition of the album. Now, usually when bands do this, the extra songs are merely B-sides that simply didn't make the cut, but which collectors and die-hard fans would like to own anyway for the sake of their collection. Not so with Alkaline Trio, whose leftover material is often even better than the songs on their actual studio albums. A quick listen to "Remains" or "Alkaline Trio", both b-sides collections, is convincing evidence for that argument.

The four songs on "Broken Wing" EP continue this trend by being at least as good, if not outright better than many of the tracks on "My Shame Is True". Soundwise, you can tell they were recorded in the same session, and they're prime examples of why so many Alkaline Trio albums score at the very highest end of our and others' rating scales. In fact, the only plausible reason why tracks like "Pocket Knife" or "Balanced On A Shelf" weren't included on "My Shame Is True" is because they wrote too many great songs to fit on one album. Having 16 tracks on a record is way too long for today's ADD generation, but in reality, these four songs are every bit as good as those on the album. Some even better. The megaphone in "Pocket Knife" probably didn't fit the album properly, and the acoustic guitar on "Broken Wing" didn't necessarily feel right in terms of the album's overall sound, but they are infectiously catchy and consist of irresistible melodies, while the lyrical universe revolves around familiarly morbid topics. My favorite excerpt is probably from the aforementioned "Pocket Knife": 'she came after me with a pocket knife, stuck here in a dream, nightmare of my life, nothing left to do, just sit there and scream' - all sung in a cheerful tone accompanied by quintessentially Alkaline Trio melodies that are as full of joy as they are catchy.

The bottom line is this: no other band makes better B-sides records than Alkaline Trio, which therefore makes "Broken Wing" an essential purchase not just for the fans, but also for anyone who likes punk rock in general. The band have really struck a gold mine in the "My Shame Is True" sessions, and it wouldn't surprise me to find more gems on a future B-sides collection.


Download: Balanced On A Shelf, Pocket Knife, Broken Wing
For the fans of: Bayside, GOB, These Green Eyes, American Steel
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.04.2013

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