Pop punk used to be a love/hate relationship for me. I once despised the genre, but then became almost enthralled by it. I’ve come out of both phases to become a much more matured music critic of the genre. I’m indifferent to a lot of what it has to offer, but there are still a few bands that hook me line and sinker. Alkaline Trio is at the forefront of those bands with their latest release being an absolute standout record. Pop punk is known for being simple, but this band takes that simplicity and downgrades a few notches. Someone who had been playing guitar for only a week could be easily play a lot of the bands catalogue. So why am I so charmed by the tracks on “Crimson"? It may be hard to believe, but there are several reasons that manage to surface. For one, while the guitar riffs are some of the simplest ever, they do not get old. Another thing is the bass playing. Daniel Andriano supports most songs with an interesting bass line that is usually high in the mix of the songs. Then there is the fact that even though frontman Matt Skiba isn’t one of the best singers and can’t add variety to the songs he still manages to be irresistibly catchy. Bassist Daniel contributes his brassier voice quite a bit to some songs. “Mercy Me" is a prominent song on “Crimson" because Daniel and Matt commit a dual vocal attack for the whole song. With a higher and lower vocal attack together it makes for one of the most memorable tracks. “Crimson" is an incredible album that never lacks. Sadly, it just may be both the most overlooked and underrated album of 2005.