Punknews.org
Alkaline Trio - Damnesia (Cover Artwork)

Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio: DamnesiaDamnesia (2011)
Epitaph/Heart & Skull

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Alkaline Trio has been around for 15 years. To celebrate, rather than throw out a clichéd greatest hits package, or live album, they tried to do something different. Damnesia is a collection of old favorites "reimagined," as well as a couple new tracks, and a Violent Femmes cover, because why not? .
iTunes StoreAmazon


Alkaline Trio has been around for 15 years. To celebrate, rather than throw out a clichéd greatest hits package, or live album, they tried to do something different. Damnesia is a collection of old favorites "reimagined," as well as a couple new tracks, and a Violent Femmes cover, because why not? It's a noble attempt at thinking outside the box, but musically speaking, the results are mixed to say the least.

The expected classics are all here: "Radio", "This Could Be Love", "Clavicle", etc....but there are a few choices that will raise some eyebrows. Was anyone really clamoring for a new version of "The American Scream"? There are plenty of other missed opportunities in the tracklist.

Nobly, the band attempts to reinvent most of the songs, rather than simply "acousticizing" them. However, it rarely works. The pianos and drum loops on "This Could Be Love" don't fit the song's melody at all, and the whole thing just comes off as one huge mess. "Radio" fares a little better, but still pales in comparison to the original. In fact, the remakes that work best are the ones that are simply translated from electric to acoustic, such as "You've Got So Far to Go" and "Clavicle".

However, new material is what really works best here. "Olde English 800" is so fun and bouncy, it's easy to ignore the fact that it's basically a commercial. "I Remember a Rooftop" is the biggest standout on Damnesia, and would have been worthy of Dan Andriano's far superior Hurricane Season album. Their take on the Violent Femmes' "I Held Her in My Arms" is interesting as well, replacing the horns with strings and slowing the tempo down ever so slightly to make it their own.

One of the biggest problems with the record is its severe lack of Andriano. Of the 15 songs on Damnesia, 12 are sung by Matt Skiba. Part of the appeal of Alkaline Trio is the fact they have two very distinct vocalists. It would have been nice to see some more Dan songs, perhaps "Maybe I'll Catch Fire" or "I Lied My Face Off".

Damnesia is a classic example of a good idea with bad execution. There are a few great songs here, but they are surrounded by so many misfires that it's almost a chore to listen to all the way through. On the whole, Damnesia isn't much more than a disappointment, and is perhaps the low point of the Alkaline Trio discography thus far.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Alkaline Trio - This AddictionThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireAlkaline Trio - Good MourningThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryAlkaline Trio - CrimsonThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Progressivegamer44 (October 17, 2013)

"to be fair, every thug needs a lady is the only reason why i will listen to new school alk3. that and blue carolina. and a couple of tracks of the last record."

Oh get off of it. Alkaline trio still sounds the same for the most part, maybe a bit more refined. There's no change so drastic however, that one must get on a high horse and declare the band as suckage

There is no "new school" they sound the same.

bergman913 (July 6, 2013)

It's good. Some of the new versions are better than the originals. However, other than the couple of new tracks, it's not something that's worth going out of your way to buy.

gdmeeshell (March 16, 2013)

I really, really, really loved this record. I love sitting around with my acoustic and jamming out to my favorite songs, so to hear Alkaline Trio do it with production along with it is great. I love this band tho, more than I love myself.

cos (August 30, 2011)

I heard they were going to change â??I Remember a Rooftop" to "I Remember Robocop". Oh well.

lmchc (August 28, 2011)

to be fair, every thug needs a lady is the only reason why i will listen to new school alk3. that and blue carolina. and a couple of tracks of the last record.

lmchc (August 28, 2011)

to be fair, every thug needs a lady is the only reason why i will listen to new school alk3. that and blue carolina. and a couple of tracks of the last record.

TSOL (August 28, 2011)

score is for the review, couldn't agree more!

davebrave4 (August 27, 2011)

* * * * *
Score is for Violent Femmes.

inagreendase (August 27, 2011)

@kevinh

You're completely right. Our scale has and never will use the "paper method," which is a good way to put it.

levidolphin (August 27, 2011)

woulda been great or interesting at least Salvador

Salvador (August 27, 2011)

This may have been or may not have been a good idea, but what if Matt sings Dan's songs and vice versa? Danny singing My Friend Peter could be interesting...or Matt singing Maybe I'll Catch Fire (that should really be on there)
any thoughts?

sloanedaley (August 26, 2011)

Would have worked better as an EP. Regardless of how this turned out this whole concept sounds like a 4 or 5 song idea.

BarleyPat (August 26, 2011)

I agree that the highlights are the new material and cover, but I loved the new version of American Scream and prefer it to the real version (which I liked anyway). You've Got So Far to Go is probably my overall favorite on the album. This Could Be Love and Calling All Skeletons didn't anything for me and the re-make of Radio was redundant.

keithybobeefy (August 26, 2011)

This record is a good rainy day album. Or a snow album. A bit more mellow, though the vocals are full of power. Honestly, they seem more sincere than a lot of the vocals have on more recent albums.

Though I am a bit of a fanboy when it comes to the Trio, this record, for something of a greatest hits, comes up incredibly strong.

MagnetBox (August 26, 2011)

This isn't as bad as some make it out to be, but it certainly isn't that good either. It's worthy of an occasional listen for the Violent Femmes cover and two originals, which I think are pretty great. Aside from the new material I can't really think of a good reason to listen to this over the original albums.

I think this should have been an EP like the one Nothington just put out. The three new songs and one reimagined track from Dan and Matt each would have made for a much better release.

kevinh (August 26, 2011)

I really don't like when reviewers use the term paper method to rank albums. It means that everything is skewed toward the higher numbers. I much prefer when 5/10 is average and then going higher or lower from therel. This review sounds like the reviewer doesn't like it very much at all. I would have expected 4/10 or so.

kylewagoner (August 26, 2011)

I disagree with "This Could Be Love." I feel like that was a song that they were actually getting right in reimagining. I do agree that it needs a lot more Dan. I'd vote "If You Had a Bad Time" (but that one is already partially acoustic, so it's a stupid choice, just my favorite), "One Hundred Stories," "Take Lots With Alcohol," "I'm Dying Tomorrow." The thing is that there already exist a lot of his songs recorded acoustically in the past...like "Crawl" and "Emma." One more thing that would have been awesome would have been if they woulda switched singers on songs. Still, for me, it's the Alkaline Trio I listen to if I just want to sit back and relax other than sing along really loudly with.

MuhammadMormon (August 26, 2011)

Boresia.

devianter (August 26, 2011)

Like someone have said in here, Clavicle sounds like a Broken Clavicle.

jimmynorville (August 26, 2011)

I think it gets 3 stars because, despite all the complaints, it isn't as if all the songs that "don't work" are terrible, they are just inferior to the originals.

MN_DrNick (August 26, 2011)

For an album you gave 3/5, you really.hate this. Probably should have gave it a lower rating.

uncle_leo (August 26, 2011)

I actually prefer this version of American Scream to the original. That was one of my least favorite tracks from This Addiction and I feel this version actually fares better with the dark tone of the song.

lostcausegiveup (August 26, 2011)

i agree about the lack of dan being a problem, but that's about it. "this could be love" was an interesting take, and i thought most of the songs were quite enjoyable. 4/5 for me.

mattramone (August 26, 2011)

I would rather jack off to Faces of Death that ever hear this record ever again.

thepopeofchili-town (August 26, 2011)

3/5 is a 60%. D-

Mystereohasmono (August 26, 2011)

How is this 3 stars again?

bensomewhere (August 26, 2011)

How the hell does such a bad review get three stars?

spoon_of_grimbo (August 26, 2011)

i mostly agree with this review, but you really should've mentioned how great the version of "every thug needs a lady" on here is.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go