Alkaline Trio
Good Mourning


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (90 Reviews)
October 4th, 2012 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "So dream a good one tonight," old school fans were dreaming Alkaline Trio had never switched gears and gone commercial, but in retrospect they would all agree, "Hey at least it isn't Crimson."

Good Mourning is where things got tricky for old school Alkaline Trio fans. It's the last straw where the die hards could convince themselves they were still down with the direction the Trio was going in. "It's dark and catchy just like the first two albums I guess," they said, "It's not as raw sounding as I would like, but it's got Keith Morris doing backup vocals on it right? I guess I dig it." These are the sentiments the old school fans had at the time, if only they knew how lucky they were; once Crimson came out they were clambering at Good Mourning because at was at least kind of sounded like old school Alkaline Trio. The problem is that Good Mourning is simultaneously too dark and too catchy. Most old school fans loved the band because of the balancing act they pulled, being dark but not too dark, and catchy without being pop. Here both styles are in full indulgence mode and it was simply too much for them to handle. For those that can get past the fact that this isn't the same Alkaline Trio, it's a very fun record that will make you feel all dirty inside for singing along to its grim yet sarcastic lyrics, having a great time in spite of the dark vibes Chicago three piece put out on this record.

Good Mourning has the band coming off of their breakout success From Here To Infirmary with a new refined and darker sound that drew in even more fans. Alkaline Trio really stepped up their game in the songwriting department, the much darker tone overall allows for some nice dissonant melodies like in the opener "This Could Be Love," and some eerie organ in "We've Had Enough." The group also made a big addition at drummer with Derek Grant who would become the final member of the trio. His incredibly tight and intricate drum work sets the ground work for the band's tighter songwriting perfectly. His beats can be technical and interesting, but never take the focus away from the songwriting which proves why he is the best drummer Alkaline Trio has ever had.

If you especially love Dan's songs then this is the Alkaline Trio record for you as Dan contributes a record five tracks to Good Mourning. Featuring his tightest songs yet Dan really shows off his growth as a songwriter from his humble beginnings on Goddamnit, and even demonstrates that he could possibly carry an album by himself, which he later did on his solo record Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room. Dan's signature quirky voice fits perfectly on the upbeat and fun standout tracks "One Hundred Stories" and "Emma." "Emma" is a particularly stellar Trio track which features the first instance of Matt singing lead on a Dan track where he sings simultaneously with Dan in the chorus. The harmonized and catchy sing along chorus elevates the track into one of the band's best. Dan has two songs back to back for the first time on Good Mourning which is really interesting, these being" Blue Carolina" and the superb "Every Thug Needs A Lady". Good Mourning has zero filler thanks to Dan stepping it up with his upbeat tracks that serve as a perfect counterpart to Matt's dark and dreary contributions.

The production on Good Mourning is much cleaner and more refined than any of their previous records, which attracted some new fans, but in turn alienated old school fans too. This trend would continue on the band's next two releases which by comparison drew a later admiration for this record by old school fans. This is the first Alkaline Trio record to heavily feature multiple guitar tracks in the mix and also has the band experimenting with some unconventional punk instruments like the bells in the opener and the organ in the second track. Good Mourning was co-produced by the late Jerry Finn and it shows as he was one of the most accomplished producers in the scene valued for his ability to get a clean crisp sound from a band while still allowing the band to retain their raw punk edge. The overall cleaner and fuller production allowed the band to reach new heights with its blend of dark but catchy songwriting.

Good Mourning was a bit of a turnoff to diehard fans with its finer tuned production and accessibility, but it was still praised on a certain level; it wasn't until the group's next record that the final nail in the coffin was hammered with Crimson. With its dark but catchy sound, Good Mourning sits somewhere in the middle between the old school and new school trio fans; and while it lacks excellent stand out tracks like From Here To Infirmary, it more than makes up for with its constancy and lack of filler. Good Mourning's polished sound perfectly complimented the band when they were at their songwriting prime, and in retrospect stands as one of the band's best records.



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user ratings (492)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Keeping up with Atari and trying to get this series done oh man

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Calc
October 4th 2012


12251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A lot of fandom talk here but this is the record I got into this band and its awesome to this day. Good review treb

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I talk so much about the old school vs. new school fan stuff because I'm reviewing their discography in order like a chronicle or whatever

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


16057 Comments


like this band from what i have listend to, nice review pos

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude, I like all of their albums but I'm biased as fuck
Here's the rundown:
Emma is a top 10 alk3 track
Fatally Yours is catchy as fuck
Every Thug Needs A Lady fuckin shreds

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


19933 Comments


good review pos'd agreed this is their last great album.

Digging: Coldworld - Melancholie

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check out the acoustic version of Every Thug if you haven't, I think it's the way he wrote it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69d8JtwTgUQ

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


19933 Comments


I love blue in the face.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It always reminds me of Tobias

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


19933 Comments


Tobias?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BznwsT6r_tM

Ire
October 4th 2012


41803 Comments


ancs

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


19933 Comments


People keep posting links but I can't check them at work sorry I'll look later.

YoYoMancuso
October 4th 2012


11154 Comments


nice review treb, pos'd

can't wait to see the rest of the series

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been wanting to do them more often, but so many good new releases keep coming out

TheSpirit
October 4th 2012


17930 Comments


Damn dude you're on a roll lately. Youve become someone who's reviews I look out for. keep it up mang. pos

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks mang, my quota is 2-4 a week oh man

Crawl
October 6th 2012


1628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cmon man, crimson is great

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io



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