ALBUM: Alkaline Trio – This Addiction

Release Date: February 23rd, 2010
Label: Hassle/Epitaph


Goth punks Alkaline Trio are back, still obsessively referencing The Misfits, making some punk noises and generally writing happy sounding music about killing. With a return to the musical style of the earlier albums, fans of their older work should enjoy ‘This Addiction’ with the same glee as they did with ‘From Here To Infirmary’.

Kicking off the with the album’s title track, it instantly throws us into a classic punk rock sound, carrying this theme up for the next few tracks before offering up an alternativ rock break in the form of ‘Draculina’ and ‘Fine’. One of the main highlights has to be ‘Lead Poisoning’, with it’s fast-paced punk style and happy tinged instrumentation, but still residing with those cruely dark lyrics that made Alkaline Trio so popular and different from their counterparts.

Even though they’ve gone back stylistically to that of ‘From Here To Infirmary’ that does not mean they have haven’t got anything fresh on offer, such as the use of some subtle synths in ‘Eating Me Alive’. They’ve taken their old winning formula, and progressed their sound to something that still had all the great bits of their days of yore, and dipped in bits of the alternative rock sound found in their more recent releases.

Sadly despite this it just doesn’t seem to have that bite they once had. There’s not the same punch you get from either Matt Skiba‘s or Dan Andriano‘s vocals. Whilst their instrumentation has gone back in time, their vocal styling still fit more in line with the days of ‘Agony And Irony’ and ‘Crimson’.

Overall this album has massively improved on their last 2 efforts, whilst there being some good stuff on both, it felt wrong in the context of the band. Alkaline Trio should be a punk rock band and not anything else. Seeing them take a huge step back into that direction with this album is a great start to this!

Written by Jonathan Andrews