Alkaline Trio
Goddamnit


5.0
classic

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (92 Reviews)
July 18th, 2012 | 64 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Look at all those stars, look at how goddamn ugly the stars are."

Goddamnit is Alkaline Trio's best album, which is in a way disappointing considering it's their first album. Not to say that they don't have any more amazing records, (because they do) but to say that they got it perfect on the first try and that should be viewed as an accomplishment not a demerit. Goddamnit really is the perfect pop punk record, with it's catchy hooks, pounding drums, intricate bass lines, and great lyrics it's all one could ask for in a record of it's kind. Those traits alone are not what set Goddamnit apart from the rest of the pack, it's the dark as all hell and relatable lyrics that push it over the top into something truly great.

Goddamnit kicks off with a bang with Cringe. Cringe's simple but hard hitting melodic chords and vivid lyrics set the tone for the rest of the record. "tongue tied, bleeding from your eyes, even Christ himself would bleed at the site of your scars," this line from Cringe lets you know what's in store with this record, very dark lyrics simmered down with a sense of humor. Cringe is a really catchy song, but doesn't adhere to the typical verse-chorus-verse song structure which is what makes Goddamnit really stand out. Alkaline Trio are capable of making a sing along song without even having a chorus. Cringe, like many tracks on Goddamnit goes off into a jam section towards the end of the song. The bass in this track is superb and there is definitely more to come in the bass department.

Dan Andriano had not completely found his place in the band yet and only contributes two tracks to this album. The acoustic ballad "Enjoy Your Day," and the more typical fast upbeat "Message From Kathlene." Both songs are quite rough and Dan had not perfected his style. On subsequent records Dan's consistently grows as a songwriter while Matt Skiba seems to regress. Although he doesn't supply many songs, his main contribution to the record are his killer bass lines. The rough production and single guitar track allows Dan's bass to be heard front and center, and his bass work is one Goddamnit's greatest attributes.

Songs like Cop and As You Were explore the more quirky side of Alkaline Trio, whilst tracks like San Fransisco and Enjoy Your Day are bittersweet love songs that showcase the more sensitive side of Alkaline Trio. San Francisco tells the tale of Matt falling in love with a woman in San Francisco, and then having to go back to Chicago feeling awful and lovelorn. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to the song's theme of "Drinking You Goodbye."

Two of the more catchy tunes on the record are Nose Over Tail and Clavicle, and they are about as catchy as punk songs can get. Clavicle is about getting butterflies in your stomach every time you see a girl and picturing yourself with her. The line "I've been on top of the world since about 1 week ago, marking the first time I was drunk enough to talk to you" is definitely one of the most relatable lines on the record. Nose Over Tail has the catchiest and strongest in general guitar on Goddamnit. It's soaring octave chords and extensive jam section add a much needed element of musicality to the record.

The two acoustic ballads (Enjoy Your Day and Sorry About That) add some variety and disconnect a little from the fast distorted pop punk songs. Enjoy Your Day is basically a *** you to an ex-girlfriend who has moved on quickly to another guy. It's one of the most emotional songs Alkaline Trio has made to date and shows how much potential Dan had as a songwriter.

Trouble Breathing is as somber as a catchy pop punk band can get. The song is about a friend contemplating suicide and opens with the heart wrenching lines "You told me that you want to die, I said I've been there myself more than a few times…you said tonight is a wonderful night to die, asked how you could tell, you told me to look at the sky. Look at those stars, look at how goddamn ugly the stars are." What would normally be a very depressing song is lightened up by more humorous lines like "You told me that the daylight burns you and that the sunrise was enough to kill you, I said maybe you're a vampire, she said it's quite possible I feel truly dead inside." Alkaline Trio's dark and dreary lyrics served up with a sense of humor are what they are most known for, and for good reason. The lyrics on Trouble Breathing, like most songs on Goddamnit really make this song. The killer intro riff helps too.

What makes Goddamnit so special is simply how how many incredible songs it has. It's really hard to explain why this album is classic for me other than saying every single track has something special that has stuck with me. It's a very personable and relatable record for anyone who has weird thought about normal things like relationships or just people in general. It doesn't hurt that it's catchy to the max, and 35 minutes it's over before you get a chance to find any flaws in it. Goddamnit is the cream of the crop in the pop punk genre and it's easy to see why Alkaline Trio have such a dedicated fan base considering what an amazing first album these guys had.



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user ratings (473)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Richard Craig (4.5)
"Your voice like the sound of sirens to a house on fire - you're saving me!"...

Nevin (4.5)
Goddamnit is a rough display of everything that Alkaline Trio excels at....

porkchop182 (4.5)
The first release from the punk rockers Alkaline Trio is both memorable and moving. It consists of s...

Dan Smith (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This was by far my hardest review to write, I tried to write a personal review cuz it's a really personal album so please be gentle

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

Spec
July 18th 2012


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely heard of them but never really listened to them, looks like thats about to change!

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sweet, I hope you dig it

Spec
July 18th 2012


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agony and irony is the other one, the album cover always caught my eye

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That's like their worst one, I'm reviewing all of em along with all the larry arms records so I'll get there eventually

TooLateToGoBack
July 18th 2012


1779 Comments


I enjoyed Agony & Irony, so I assume I'll enjoy this even more?

skoopy48
July 18th 2012


1561 Comments


Brilliant album

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You should enjoy it about 412 times as much

Spec
July 18th 2012


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Drinking You Goodbye" fucking brilliant.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys
You should be slightly disappointed when I review From Here To Infirmary a 4 then

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well that's nice to hear

Spec
July 18th 2012


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Enjoying this a lot so far.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

well that's nice to hear [2]

WeepingBanana
July 18th 2012


10205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

keep on truckin' dude

Enjoy Your Day is basically what's keeping me from 4.5ing this

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah sometimes I skip it

Acanthus
July 18th 2012


9543 Comments


Still need to hear this in its entirety.

Spare
July 18th 2012


5350 Comments


rad album, ok review

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'll take ok

ZedO
July 18th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Goddamnit, what a great album :D, used to listen to this few years ago.., nice review as usual..

Sniff
July 18th 2012


1355 Comments


Good review. You get a pos!



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