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Crimson

Alkaline Trio

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Album Review

Crimson is the best next step for Alkaline Trio. It keeps Good Mourning's blacks and reds and crack melodic sense. But it's also much more accessible with its measured aggression, rich piano (courtesy of Jellyfish and studio veteran Roger Manning), and production from Jerry Finn, who's worked with blink-182 and the very-relevant-to-Alkaline Trio Jawbreaker. Like those groups Alkaline Trio has grown away from punk-pop; they've grown up. On 1998's Goddamnit!, Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano let out rowdy "woah-woahs" and wished things like "I wanna wake up naked next to you." But then that happened, and the other side of the bed wasn't as pretty. By Mourning they were dealing with death metaphors and painful levels of self-medication. Crimson has a similar sense of emotional brokenness, but things never get so heavy that you'll need the goth eyeliner — the album's pop sense glimmers steadily beneath its dour shroud. "Poison" and "Time to Waste" downshift into powerful choruses despite lines about dead eyes and meaninglessness, "Mercy Me" and "Dethbed" rock self-hate and cynicism over propulsive beats, and "Prevent This Tragedy" incorporates a keyboard descent that's a perfectly pretty foil for a line like "the flames of hell they give me hope." As great as Alkaline Trio are at relating their booze and blood-spattered lives to listeners, it does get a little tedious. But Skiba and Andriano's interlocking harmonies never flag, and the band's rhythms are just too catchy throughout. Let's see. They're writing smart, bright, punk-derived pop, but they're black and white and blocky-featured, and they like Depeche Mode much more than Duran Duran. That settles it — Alkaline Trio are the bizarro-world Killers.

Customer Reviews

Amazing Album

This album exceeds the other albums. Great work on the lyrics for Dethbed and Mercy Me. Matt, Derek, and Dan put their best effort into this album and it paid off. More people are learning of the amazing work of Alkaline Trio since this album came out. The Piano/Keyboard performance was also great on Time to Waste and Smoke. This album is proof that they're going strong and will be able to continue their work and I'm expecting great porpotions on their next album, might be named Church and Destroy this time. I have been listening to Alk3 for 3 years and continue to listen after all there strong perfomances, but i do wish that there were some acoustic songs though

Different...

All right, all right, all right. Alkaline Trio, after nearly a decade of being a not-quite-famous punk band, seems to be trying to get the attention they deserve. And more power to them. This album strays from their roots and offers a very different sound from the Alkaline Trio their hardcore fans know and love. But is it really all that bad? Yes and no. Yes, if you compare it to most of their previous albums. Matt's songwriting, in particular, is not brimming with the sarcasm, cynicism, anger, and love for self-destruction that were so evident on the first four albums (not so much on Good Mourning, where his lyrics start hitting their decline), which is what made the trio so lovable. Now, it seems, he's merely writing dark songs for the sake of being dark, rather than offering brutally honest lyrics about love and loss. Erm, mostly loss. Instrumentally Crimson takes a huge departure from the old stuff. With the addition of keys, strings, and multiple guitars, the Trio's once beloved rough-n-fast style of playing is mellowed out and overproduced, which at times can make the songs difficult to truly enjoy. However, if you take this album on its own, without remembering Goddamnit! or Maybe I'll Catch Fire, it is still much better than anything else being made these days. So why complain? I think Dan's songwriting is dead on, as usual. "I Was A Prayer" delves into more of his trademark self-examination, while "Settle For Satin" provides an anthem for anyone who hates their job. And though it may be the least-Trio-ish song on the album, "Smoke" really is an amazing ballad. Meanwhile, Matt's songs (though I previously pointed out their flaws) shine in their own way, too. "Times To Waste" was a good first single, catchy and fast-paced, but is shortly overshadowed by other songs on the record; "Back To Hell" and "Dethbed" (though the latter is a little poppy), are the closest thing to the old Trio you'll find on here. So take this album for what it is: a band expanding and improving (in some ways) upon their sound. Is it good? Yeah (I'd have preferred to give it three and a half stars). Is it Goddamnit? Never. But enjoy it anyways.

i actually like this album

why is everyone complaining about alkaline trio? i like the fact that they did something a little bit different, branched out a bit and tried some new stuff. so what if they arent exactly the same. cant we just appriciate the fact that they were brave enough to try something new?

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed by ex-Jerkwater and Traitors drummer Matt Skiba (vocals/guitar), former 88 Fingers Louie percussionist Glenn Porter, and Rob Doran (bass/vocals), Alkaline Trio was brought together in 1997 by heartbreak, angst, and the companionship of drinking. The original lineup issued a short EP, For Your Lungs Only, just prior to Doran's departure in late 1997, and Sundials followed one year later on Johann's Face Records. Slapstick's Dan Andriano climbed aboard to handle bass duties, adding a complementary...
Full Bio

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