Reviewed by Nate Smith
The lyrics of Alkaline Trio have always drawn me to their music. I remember when Alkaline Trio first started in 1996. Since then, I have followed their career, embraced every release, and fallen in love with their unique sound, dark lyrics, and overall energy live.
The first track off their new release “This Addiction” (which is also the title) reminds me of their earlier releases. The song tells the struggle of a failed relationship that one person is strongly addicted to. It’s a powerful punk rock song, and musically shows that Alkaline Trio can still deliver the best after all these years. This cd is the first album released on their own label Heart and Skull, which is partnered up with Epitaph Records. Lyrically, every Alkaline Trio song tells a story that leaves me wondering where the lyric inspiration came from. The song “The American Scream’ has every classic Alkaline Trio element. It’s based on a news story Matt Skiba, the singer and guitar player, read about a Vietnam Veteran committing suicide on his mother’s grave. Although sad, it paints an honest story of the pain and struggle that so many soldiers face after spending time serving our country in war.
Track 4, “Dead on The Floor” starts with a reminiscent sound of their earlier release, Maybe I’ll catch Fire. The guitar driven intro and duel vocal chorus is catchy, perfect, and leaves me wanting to listen to their entire discography. On “Off the Map,” I love the lyrics: “I retire to my chair, I grab my new guitar but I can’t make it sound, you could hear poisonous dreams jumping all around”. When Matt sings “I can’t roll roll roll my boat back to shore” the background vocals of Dan Andriano bring a chill to your spine. Its just sung so innocently and perfect. Alkaline Trio may have the best combination of singers for a 3 piece band.“Draculina” starts off with an Alice in Wonderland Reference that is brought about with a keyboard intro that builds into a complex array of musical arrangement that should bring these boys to the top of the charts.
Overall this may be the best Alkaline Trio record to date. The overall lyrics paint strong stories of life and struggle. They leave you feeling the pain and strife so many Americans face on a daily basis. The recording quality and arrangement is flawless. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet than this album is a great way to become introduced. With so many terrible releases being thrown at us today, Alkaline Trio is sure to come out on top with This Addiction. Pick it up at your local record store and don’t hesitate to catch them live on tour this spring.