Review Summary: Alkaline Trio's self titled b-sides albums is the last release with the band's classic lineup before going in a more commercial direction and leaving many hardcore fans in the dust.
After the release of Alkaline Trio's second album Maybe I'll Catch Fire
, the band moved in a more commercial direction with their third studio release, From Here To Infirmary
which helped propel them into the mainstream. In between these albums, Alkaline Trio released a self titled b-sides album that would be their last record with their old sound and classic lineup. Alkaline Trio
is a stellar batch of songs compiled mostly from EPs the band released before and in between their first two albums. It's rare that a b-sides album is great, but it's even rarer when a b-sides album is on par or better than many of a band's releases, and this is most certainly the case with Alkaline Trio's phenomenal self titled album.
Alkaline Trio feels like a nice mixture of the band's first two records, showing off their more fun side with the light hearted track about drinking with a buddy after a break-up "My Friend Peter" and the band's shortest song to date and one hell of a ride "Snake Oil Tanker." Of course the other side of the coin is present as well with some of the band's darkest and saddest tracks littering the record. Songs like "Bleeder" and" I Lied My Face Off" explore the darker side of Alkaline Trio continuing what Maybe I'll Catch Fire did. Alkaline Trio
is also home to the fan favorite "97," which makes it presence known as the powerful album closer. Being simultaneously upbeat musically and depressing lyrically, "97" is a brilliant example of what the Chicago three piece is all about. Alkaline Trio
shows off both sides of the band perfectly and works as a great bridge between Goddamnit
and Maybe I'll Catch Fire.
is the last release a lot of the band's hardcore fans enjoyed before the band started its fateful trek into the mainstream. There is nothing remarkable or unique about the record, being simply 13 stellar cuts that are quality enough to put most other pop punk band's studio albums to shame. The fact that Alkaline Trio
is better than all of the band's later releases is sad, but ultimately just shows how remarkable this b-sides album really is.