Is This Thing Cursed?

Alkaline Trio

Epitaph, 2018

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their first record in five years and while on break from Blink 182, Matt Skiba and company have returned with an album of atmospheric gloom and punk. The album’s title track is a fun ride and reminds me of early 2000s punk I heard in my friends’ cars. “Blackbird” is an amazing track, one that demands infinite repeats; it’s just an amazing punk song, and I haven’t had too many of those this yearmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Demon And Division” is a blazing number, and while it doesn’t grab me as much as “Blackbird,” it’s still a good track. This band’s energy can’t be contained or denied. They manage to keep it going for an entire album when most bands nowadays wear out after four songs. “Worn So Thin” would sound great on the radio and it almost comes across like an anthem for this day and age. “I Can’t Believe” takes me back to the Trio of my high school years, poppy and punky at the same time, while also very melodic and almost brutal.

“Goodbye Fire Island” is a great track, showcasing Skiba’s songwriting and the band’s ability to slow things down but not lose their integrity or their grit in the process. “Stay” follows in the same path and is more of a pop song than anything else here, and it ain’t bad at all. One thing that separates this band from the rest of the gloom punk pack is the good quality songwriting all throughout the record. That really helps set up a steady stream of memorable tunes that will stay in one’s head long after the disc is over. Even the closing track “Krystalline,” a semi-acoustic jam that’s a really moody, atmospheric way to close things out, is a great song.

All in all, this is a great release and an unexpected treat, and probably one of the better punk records I’ve heard in quite some time.

Rating: A-

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