Sunday, November 27, 2011

Alkaline Trio And This Addiction

Ok, so I'm not going to lie, This Addiction, is the first Alkaline Trio record I've ever heard. To me this band has never really symbolized anything but teen angst marketed to the nth degree and a way for Hot Topic to stay in business. However, after listening to This Addiction, I might actually need to correct myself. What I discovered beneath all that marketing and angst was one heck of a pop punk band that's really nothing like all the imagery and t-shirts would have you believe.

This Addiction is a spiky, jumpy record that sounds like Green Day's aggressive cousin mixed with elements of Social Distortion and maybe even a bit of the Bosstones. The Alkaline Trio really surprised me to the point where I'm actually impressed by the tunes on their seventh album. Sure it's still a big angsty, they are punk rock after all, but the band has this underlying sense of what makes a good pop tune and they layer it in between all the three chord punk rock that made them who they are. These guys clearly know what they're doing and that, I suppose, is to be expected after seven albums. In fact, This Addiction sounds like an album only a band that's been around for that long could write; it's a mature effort and each song glistens with the wisdom that being around the block a few times provides.

As the band is quick to point out, This Addiction moves their sound forward by looking back. In a sense you can think of This Addiction as the best of both worlds, a bit of the old and a lot of the new, which is apparently exactly what the band wanted. This Addiction is the sound of a band comfortable in their own shoes, with who they are, who they've become, and doing what they want to do knowing their free to pretty much do whatever. The result is an album that, despite being riddled with potentially depressing material, is a melodic masterwork on how to write a huge pop record using punk rock as a foundation. With eleven songs packed with hoarse harmonies and riffs that are impossible to forget, Alkaline Trio seem as though they could write stadium anthems in their sleep.

I'm sorry Alkaline Trio, I underestimated you and never gave you credit. This Addiction has changed my mind; it's an awesome dose of poppy punk that kind of hit me over the head like a baseball bat. Thoroughly enjoyable, This Addiction, will undoubtedly please old fans and will serve as a gateway for people who never really bothered to give this group the time of day. This Addiction simply put is quite addictive.

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