In today album review I’m going to look into American pop punk band Alkaline Trio latest studio album called ‘Is This Thing Cursed’.
As you already know I’m a real big fan of pop-punk music ever since I was at school with Green Day and Blink 182 being the bands that got me into music. So when I saw that Alkaline Trio was releasing their first album in five years I was pretty excited, this was due to listening to ‘This Addiction’ back in 2010 and loving every minute of it and has always kept my eye on their latest releases very since.
But this album has been on hold since Matt joined Blink 182 after Tom Delonge left, but was worth the wait with its fun guitar riffs and dark but happy lyrics that makes you want to listen to 2000’s pop-punk as it feels like it would fit in that time.
So we start with Is This Thing Cursed a solid and fun opener which looks into drinking alcohol and the problem with it which Matt has looked into in the past, with really cool intro than leads into just a catchy second verse.
It really does what Alkaline Trio does best and memorable lines and fun and energy that we all love about good pop punk. One of my favourite line being in the second verse saying ‘Maybe it’s some kind of spell, That I’ve been living under, Collecting coins found near a nightmare wishing well’
Next, we get to Blackbird which is just a really straightforward fun song which looks about a break up that doesn’t go down well. I like that Matt used the SR-71 Blackbird the spy place in the cold war as a way to put what he is trying to say of a breakup. It’s a solid track throughout with nice guitar playing and like the previous track is just fun and music to your ears.
We get to one my favorite track with Demon and Division with a really solid bass line in the verse that drives the whole thing and really hard-hitting guitar playing and catchy lyrics with lines like ‘Where Damen and Division meet, Been dodging bullets and dirty looks all fucking morning’. Not a lot to say but you should check this song out you wouldn’t regard it.
With Little Help, we just get a track talking about drinking and having a good time and the playing backs that up. It’s nothing surprising but would be great when listening to it live, the lyrics are pretty straightforward and nothing that really stands out but not everything got to have deep meaning but is just fun overall.
I Can’t Believe is a catchy track that has a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days and with some cool guitar playing and nice weird effect on the guitar that adds something extra. The line at the end of the chorus ‘He no long breathing, but still singing along’ is a standout and the acoustic outro of the chorus add something different.
Here is another highlight with Sweet Vampires with just another fun track that makes you move and put a smile on your face. Cathy is a word I use a lot in this review but this song is just that but in a good way. It has meaning and with lines ‘If we could live forever, like sweet vampires’ and great backing bass and drums it one of the best of the album.
Pale Blue Ribbon is about having a friend there when times are bad and it comes across in the music and I like the line in the verse ‘No price for first place’ and has that song you would put on when things aren’t going well, not as catchy but the deep meaning is there it’s a good listen.
We get look at his time with Blink on tour with Goodbye Fire Island with nice bass in the verse and cool effect on the vocals and guitar and it doesn’t 100% stand out but like most songs on this album give something old with something new.
With Stay, we get a really good put together track with a catchy chorus with ‘Can we just stay’ which it builds up nicely with some really cool different meanings to the song which could mean anything you want it to be with multiple listens which I love in my music.
We up the tempo with Heart Attacks with a fast-paced and fun to listen too even if the lyrics don’t put that across which has a look at losing something you love with the chorus line ’That boy’s been dead since childhood, Leave me alone to analyze’ really is one of my favorites of the album.
More of the same with Worn So Thin really old school pop-punk feel and with Dan Andriano doing the lead vocal is just great to listen and a nice change. With Throw Me To The Lions just another cool fast paced track with Matt Skiba excellent lyrics and catchy guitar tones that really stand out and has a really nice lead into the final track Krystaline.
This final track really reminds me why I love Matt Skiba songwriting due to the ability to write pretty straightforward chords pattern and still give the song an edgy feel. It has a similar to his solo work closing tracks like Angel Of Deaf and Vienna, and a long outro that last around a minute. But really end the album nicely
Overall, I really love the old school pop-punk feel this album gives off and how sold the songs were and if you love old school Alkaline Trio you will have a blast with this album.
It’s great to see Matt Skiba back with Alkaline Trio doing what he does best with everyone from Dan great bass playing that is a stand out as well. My favorite tracks are Demon and Division, Heart Attacks and Krystaline but if you haven’t you really should.