Alkaline Trio
My Shame Is True


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (82 Reviews)
April 9th, 2013 | 20 replies | 5,211 views


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How young are you gonna be when you die? / I guess I never really thought about that / You're dying when you start thinking like that

Yes it's that time again, time to be disappointed by the new Alkaline Trio album. This has been an almost decade long tradition since the ambitious albeit underachieving Crimson came out back in 2005. The next two records made Crimson look pretty strong in retrospect, with Agony and Irony, whose full blown venture into alt rock proved to be a mixed bag, and the Chicago pop punk trio's last record This Addiction, which abandoned all progress from the previous two records, and failed miserably at imitating the sound of the Trio's fan favorite record From Here To Infirmary. Expectations were at an all time low for the Trio's newest release, which is aptly titled My Shame Is True because the band seems to always be ashamed of their last record, jumping ship from all progress gained from their previous album and striving to sound like early 2000s Alkaline Trio, but mostly failing in the process as usual.

My Shame Is True could easily be written off as another average release from a once great band if it wasn't for bassist Dan Andriano's excellent songwriting. Dan started off as the least important member of the trio, whose couple songs on the albums would always serve merely as a way to break up the record a little bit. Oddly enough Dan's songwriting has consistantly grown on each record, while Matt Skiba has constantly gotten worse as a songwriter. In fact, Dan's songs are mostly about grown up things like contemplating life and death and his place in the grand scheme of things, and his place in life and all that he's accomplished. On the other hand, Matt constantly brags about how immature he is, like when he proclaims to be "a school boy trapped in a man" in the track "One Last Dance." My Shame Is True attempts to be a concept album about Matt's recent breakup, but that doesn't really work when you have two songwriters, and the other writer's songs are about completely different things. The complexity of Dan's songwriting, mixed with his mature and contemplative lyrics make the other eight songs which are all about childish ways of getting back an ex lover seem all the more pathetic.

Musically My Shame Is True is very similar to This Addiction, consisting mostly of power chords and vocal hooks. There are a few interesting parts however, like the three second long bass solo in "St. Anthony," which is probably the Trio's most technical song to date, which isn't really saying much. Alkaline Trio also continue to be "That band with the drummer who's at the wrong show" with Derek Grant's drum work being the only bright spot on most of the tracks. In fact, the sappy, stalker-esque "One Last Dance" would be a complete waste of a song if it wasn't for the stellar drums.

Alkaline Trio are a band who became famous for their dry wit and metaphor laden lyrics. Unfortunately there's absolutely nothing like that on My Shame Is True, whose lyrics are so straightforward and uninteresting they seem like they were written by a completely different person. The mind numbing break up anthems all build up to the abysmal closer "Until Death Do Us Part" which is all the more depressing considering how many outstanding closing tracks Alkaline Trio have crafted over the years. All I can think about when listening to My Shame Is True is a high school student trapped in a 37 year old man's body writing in his tear soaked diary about his first break up.

It's really hard to proclaim an album with only six out of twelve great songs as a "good" record, but those six songs really are something special. The two catchy as hell opening tracks "She Lied To The FBI" and " I Want To Be a Warhol" coupled with Dan's outstanding four tracks result is the Trio's best work since 2003's Good Mourning. Unfortunately Matt Skiba's other six tracks come off as "Please take me back" 3am drunk phone calls that range from nothing special to downright awful. Overall, all My Shame Is True does is make me hope and pray Matt Skiba's ex has a restraining order filed against him.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2013



48524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Basically Dan's songs and the first two songs are really good and the rest kind of sucks

"All I can think about when listening to My Shame Is True is a high school student trapped in a 37 year old man's body writing in his tear soaked diary about his first break up."

I never thought I'd have to write something like this about Alkaline Trio. RIP

Digging: More Than Life - What's Left Of Me

YoYoMancuso
April 8th 2013



10104 Comments


nice review. I agree on the Dan progressing and Matt regressing thing.

Calc
April 8th 2013



10832 Comments


nice review [2]

I haven't listened to this whole thing yet i keep getting distracted by other stuff.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2013



18577 Comments


yeah man nicely done. I guess I didn't focus on the lyrics that much because i really didn't think that many songs were about matt's break up.

glad this got reviewed : )

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2013



48524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah there was an interview with Matt about the album and he said the whole album is about his divorce

But Dan's songs aren't about that obviously, so it just doesn't work

surprisefriend
April 9th 2013



310 Comments


wow great review

Crawl
April 9th 2013



1382 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

But didn't you have this on 4 or so? And didn't you actually like the last song? Or was it someone different, idk now

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Cope

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013



48524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I gave it a 4 at first as a placeholder, but nah I never really liked the last song

Owantjaaaa
April 9th 2013



2779 Comments


Good review,
I feel bad for you

Digging: Oxbow - The Narcotic Story

Spec
April 10th 2013



26833 Comments


love the summary though

Spec
April 10th 2013



26833 Comments


...which I guess means im saying I like that line

johnson13
April 10th 2013



13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, Matt's lyrics are so bad now. No metaphors and if there are there like a high school kid who failed english. Its a shame bc I actually like all the songs. Even the "bad" ones are ok. Its a shame bc Dan is literally making the best songs ever with great lyrics. I, Pessimist is so clever and heartfelt about drinking, why some do it to escape, and the pains of it. Good album though. Seeing em at the Metro May 30th.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2013



48524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"...which I guess means im saying I like that line"

Yeah it's a Dan lyrics, his lyrics are fucking great on this

Crawl
April 11th 2013



1382 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What happened to Matt? His lyrics used to be so clever.

johnson13
April 11th 2013



13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He gave em up to apparently pander to the teen crowd.

Kris.
April 11th 2013



11332 Comments


i disagree even though i haven't read the review
album is a light 4

theacademy
April 11th 2013



27669 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

my shame is trve

iwanttopunchadolphin
April 13th 2013



20 Comments


Was a little surprised with this album. Some catchy songs on there but still feels stale.

Don't mind it tho.

dimsim3478
April 13th 2013



3967 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not a bad record but it's basically Good Mourning without the edge.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

NorwichScene
April 15th 2013



1341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't mind Alkaline Trio but I just can't listen to them much



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