Alkaline Trio
This Addiction


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
February 18th, 2010 | 137 replies | 24,427 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alk3 would not know how to make a bad album, but This Addiction sees them well past their best.

When it comes to punk rock, one would be hard pressed to find an outfit as consistent as Chicago’s Alkaline Trio. For twelve years now, they have recorded half a dozen outstanding albums, as well as a couple of impressive compilation LPs. The secret to their longevity has been in successfully making subtle adjustments to their core strengths with each passing release. Of course, not everyone can always be pleased and some loyal fans have jumped ship with the band’s most recent output getting progressively poppier. With 2008 effort ‘Agony & Irony’ not exactly catapulting Alk3 to the mainstream riches of Green Day, it is not surprising to see them return to the past - recording in their hometown, using their old producer, and even forming an independent record label - to release their latest album ‘This Addiction’.

The rollicking momentum of the title track and lead single kicks things off on an effective note and suggests that the balance of old and new which Alkaline Trio are searching for could well be achieved. Along with ‘Lead Poisoning’ and ‘The American Scream’, these highlight tracks display Matt Skiba’s simple, but effectively catchy, guitar-playing that makes teenagers all around the world want to learn to strum six strings for a living. Furthermore, Dan Andriano’s bass-lines are as sublime as ever, being able to occasionally lull the listener into concentrating on nothing but his work. Regrettably, despite the album’s title, the lack of addictive hooks elsewhere is a letdown, with too many songs passing by with nothing more than ambivalence.

Hooks did not exactly play a defining role in the trio’s earlier releases either. Those albums predominantly succeeded on the back of the bands passion, energy and trademark dark lyrics being integrated into seemingly effortless raw melodies. While all those traits exist in scattered grabs throughout ‘This Addiction’, they appear more forced than previously. This is especially the case with Skiba’s integral lyrics, which simply aren’t as memorable as they once were. Andriano’s lyrics seem far more natural in fitting to the matured personal themes, but while the three tracks on which he performs vocals are likely to appeal to fans of their earlier work, even they come off as nothing significantly more than solid.

‘This Addiction’ is not entirely devoid of some new ideas and production techniques, but the results are once more mixed. The aforementioned ‘Lead Poisoning’ surprises with a trumpet solo that productively accentuates its melodic hook, while synths are used in mid-album duo ‘Draculina’ and ‘Eating Me Alive’, both of which sound a little out of place and are sure to be as polarizing as certain singles from AFI’s ‘Decemberunderground’. The concern is that even these ingredients seem a little half-hearted and a compromised attempt to satisfy as many of their fans as possible. Skiba does not hide the fact that most of these songs were written quickly, and it often shows.

Preceded by Skiba comments such as “the vibe is similar to our humble beginnings” and “there’s definitely some old sounding Alkaline Trio to this record”, longtime fans have understandably been anticipating ‘This Addiction’ for some months now. While such press quotes are usually far off the mark, Skiba was not lying. With its return to a more straight-forward approach, ‘This Addiction’ does hark back to the likes of ‘Goddamnit’ and ‘Maybe I’ll Catch Fire’. Unfortunately, while not being a bad album, it is not a patch on those seminal earlier releases…. Simply a solid recycling of their much-loved sound.

Recommended Tracks: The American Scream, Lead Poisoning & This Addiction.



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user ratings (293)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
iwanttopunchadolphin (3)
The Trio try to recapture the glory days but fail kind of miserably...

Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
The soundtrack to treading water...

Richard Craig (3.5)
Bless them, dark father, for they seem to be thoroughly incapable of making a bad album....

Nevin (3)
This Addiction isn't quite up to par with Alkaline Trio's previous work, but is still a decent recor...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I get so frustrated when I ping-pong between ratings. This is very close to a 3.5 for me. It is one of those albums that is pretty good in the moment, but does not demand you returning to it. The review itself probably fleshed out that I needed to err on the lower side.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2010



7325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

excellent review davey, disappointing to see the rating though i've been looking forward to this. i'll still listen though.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Ali. Definitely listen to the album as it's still good... Just not a patch on their previous stuff. I even like 'Agony & Irony' slightly better, although I think I'm going to be in the minority on that opinion.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



28420 Comments


i cant wait to listen to this

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Ponton
Emeritus
February 18th 2010



5790 Comments


I've never been a huge fan of this band, but "Sadie" is an amazing song. From what I've heard from this, it seems the band are trying to go back to their punkier roots.

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 18th 2010



3743 Comments


Still pull out Goddamnit and Crimson from time to time for some middle school nostalgia, didn't even know this band was still around. good review obviously davey, probably won't get this tho

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



28420 Comments


sadie is amazing but its midddle of the pack for alk3 band is the tits

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"i cant wait to listen to this" ... says the person who has already rated it a 5.

The thing about Alk3 Jared is that many people/fans will have totally different tracks that they see as their favorites. They just seem to connect differently with a wide range of people. The same goes for their albums too.

Have they gone back to their punkier roots here? Yeah, sort of... But I don't think those that absolutely adored 'Goddamnit' should get too carried away... As they'll only be let down.

Thanks Cam... And kudos for mentioning 'Crimson'. That album gets way too much $hit... It's a tough call for me rank their albums, but I reckon the 2 you mentioned just may well be my top 2 also.

Fugue
February 18th 2010



7352 Comments


Crimson was kinda cool I guess. Never really been that into these guys though.

BallsToTheWall
February 18th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

How is this compared to thier last three albums? Just wondering because i've been spinning those for a few months now.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rosco, your comment actually made me question why the hell these guys have never had a Greatest Hits compilation. (a) It would be a great disc, but (b) it would be extremely difficult to pick the songs it would include.

Balls, it's not all that similar to either 'Good Mourning' or 'Crimson'. I guess the best way I can word it is that it tries to instill the poppy elements of 'Agony & Irony' into the rawer/punkier sound of their debut LP 'Goddamnit'. In theory that sounds logical & great. They don't quite pull it off consistently though.

LG
February 18th 2010



3049 Comments


Hmmm...you mentioned 'Decemberunderground' in your review, getting this now.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Woh horsey... I only mentioned it in reference to 2 songs. It's definitely a useless comparison to the other 9 tracks... Which only just goes to prove how much those 2 tracks seem out of place.

LG
February 18th 2010



3049 Comments


Still...two songs is enough for me, and God-forbid if I might happen to like the other 9 tracks...I doubt it, but ya never know.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2010



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If you don't super like them, just listen to the bass-lines. I could never tire of Dan's bass-playing.

PS: I'm seeing AFI this time next week. Can't wait.

LG
February 18th 2010



3049 Comments


I honestly can't stand his vocals, it brings down the quality of the actual music.

You lucky sob.

AtavanHalen
February 18th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

When it comes to punk rock, one would be hard pressed to find an outfit as consistent as Chicago’s Alkaline Trio.


they r s000 punk rawk

Also this isn't very good.

KieranVandRakim
February 18th 2010



332 Comments


shut up fag

AtavanHalen
February 18th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Who are you and why should I care

Eskate87
February 18th 2010



959 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is incredibly meh, so has their career been ever since Good Mourning



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