I remember when I first heard the song "Cooking Wine" by Alkaline Trio. It was back in the '90s, and it was one of those songs that really forced you to reevaluate the way you listened to music. Abusive, grating guitar lines that truly shredded combined with smart, emotional songwriting - it was true musical mastery.
My infatuation with this band continued with their groundbreaking first full-length Goddamnit and again with Maybe I'll Catch Fire (one of the best albums of the past 10 years). I caught them whenever they came to town, which was fortunately often due to the relatively short distance between Chicago and Detroit. Eventually, though, I lost interest.
What happened? Alkaline Trio seemed to change what they were about, drifting from label to label and drifting away from their original raw, emotional sound. Instead, they seemed to become a self-parody of themselves that catered to 14-year-old girls with mediocre songs and a melodramatic image.
I saw them a few months ago, and aside from three old songs interspersed throughout their set, I was unmoved and unimpressed.
Hopefully that's about to change.
In an interview with Spinner, it's been announced that Alkaline Trio has signed with Epitaph (or more specifically their new Heart & Skull label which is a joint venture with Epitaph), and are promising that their headed back to their punk roots.
In the interview, singer/guitarist Matt Skiba told Spinner,
"This record is a rock record but our punk rock upbringing definitely shines through, more so than our last few records. The vibe is similar to our humble beginnings. It's a step forward but I also think it has glimmers of our past in it."
The new album will be out in February, and while it may never recapture the pure sonic joy of the Goddamnit era, here's hoping the newest version of A3 will be more exciting than the blandness they've subjected us to on recent releases.
The full article is here.
Photo © Nicole Lucas