Alkaline Trio
Is This Thing Cursed?


4.6
superb

Review

by Trebor. STAFF
September 4th, 2018 | 78 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Old guys make great music.

This Addiction felt like a dead end of sorts for a band that had been making pop-punk for 15 years to varying degrees of success. An homage to the group’s third album From Here To Infirmary, This Addiction was an uninspired mess, its biggest sin being that it’s a pop-punk record that isn’t catchy. Alkaline Trio could have easily thrown in the towel after so many bands do once they become a parody of themselves. But they didn’t, three years later they put out My Shame is True, an improvement no doubt, but still disappointing, laden with immature breakup lyrics and repetitive guitar playing. And then Matt Skiba joins Blink-182. Dan starts putting out solo records, great in their own right, and Matt helps craft one of the worst albums of the decade with Blink. Years go by and it seems like Alkaline Trio is toast, a familiar tale - a great band from the 90s that couldn’t get it done into the 2010s. But a band that put out stone cold classics like Goddamnit and Maybe I’ll Catch Fire couldn’t go out with a whimper, they couldn’t fade away with redemption up for grabs. Some dead ends aren’t dead after all as Alkaline Trio is back with their best album in 15 years.

Similar to how The Menzingers’ After The Party from last year was an exercise in figuring out how to live when you enter your 30s, Is This Thing Cursed❓ Is about being comfortable in your 40s. When Dan laments “Can anybody here buy this old fool a drink❓ / It sure beats waiting on the next train / Back to that old scene, I leave it behind” he means it, it’s delivered with conviction. And when Matt croons “Couldn’t tell what you were thinking, the night I turned up at the bar / I told you I quit drinking and you laughed 'til you saw stars”, he’s proud of it, and that’s what separates inspired and contemplative music from disingenuous trash - brutal honesty. The music itself is the most mature the band has ever created. The songwriting feels relaxed, the structures are tight, but they know what their bread and butter are - power chords and catchy melodies, and Alkaline Trio delivers. Is This Thing Cursed❓ Is that special kind of record that fully owns everything the band has ever done. Familiar melodies are abundant, but never to the point of rehash, Is This Thing Cursed❓ is equally dark and delectable, a best of both worlds of the bands’ dreary, and commercial halves.

One couldn’t ask for a more impressive record from a trio of pop-punk dudes in their 40s. Dan Andriano especially is a fucking saint. His cuts have consistently been the saving grace on the band’s lesser records, here they’re phenomenal and are the major reason this album is one of the band’s finest. “Stay,” with its swooning guitar and bittersweet reflective lyrics packs an emotional wallop and “Worn So Thin” displays a ferocious energy not seen since Goddamnit. Matt Skiba’s acoustic ballad “Krystalline” caps it all off, a beautiful song about awkward new love during middle age. Is This Thing Cursed❓ is pop-punk perfection from front to back. It’s the last piece of evidence needed to cement Alkaline Trio as legends. I’m not sure where they go from here, unsure if this could be the last Trio record, but I’m happy knowing they took it this far.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2018


56119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

What a time to be alive

Digging: Brockhampton - Iridescence

andrianoc
September 4th 2018


148 Comments


Dan has my same last name. Pretty sure he’s my long lost uncle

DungeonBoy
September 4th 2018


4582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

From Here To Infirmary is the name of the 3rd album.



Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2018


56119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

"From Here To Infirmary is the name of the 3rd album."



fucking grammarly

DungeonBoy
September 4th 2018


4582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol, I've never used it, is it any good?

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2018


56119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

It is if you actually audit the changes it makes lol

GotDoritos
September 4th 2018


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album could be titled "This Conviction" - the band finally sounds in it for real again. Fantastic listen all the way through.

brettgoespunk
September 4th 2018


248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

rip onionbubs

Digging: Deicide - Overtures of Blasphemy

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2018


24094 Comments


wait did you re-write this review ?

Digging: Majestic Mass - Savage Empire of Death

onionbubs
September 4th 2018


9456 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i love how everybody loves this

Digging: Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed?

McTime50
September 4th 2018


510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have a dream that one day sputnik will have real question marks again.

Digging: The Story So Far - Proper Dose

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2018


40589 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4 | Sound Off

Dan Andriano especially is a fucking saint. [2]



great review, I like how this album basically starts with a Party Adjacent song and ends with a Skiba solo song and the Alkaline Trio stuff happens in the middle

Digging: Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed?

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2018


56119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

Thanks fellows



Sorry for stealing your feature onionbubs

Drifter
September 5th 2018


13820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, still need to check

Gyromania
September 5th 2018


25806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. Really into this atm

Tunaboy45
September 5th 2018


16564 Comments


sweet review, band has never done anything for me but this admittedly makes me want to check it

Digging: IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance

JWT155
September 5th 2018


14098 Comments


Album rules.

Green Baron
September 5th 2018


24282 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

alright, now I HAVE to check this one

ClungeAbsentia
September 5th 2018


95 Comments


Alkaline Trio were always kind of boring.

Scoot
September 5th 2018


19080 Comments


this is great



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