Alkaline Trio - Broken Wing [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio: Broken Wing [EP]Broken Wing [EP] (2013)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: porksodaporksoda
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Broken Wing EP was dually released with Alkaline Trio's newest album, My Shame Is True. This EP is all about Dan Andriano though, and it makes sense why. Where My Shame Is True boasted some of his dullest writing to date, Broken Wing contrasts that in every sense of the word. "Balanced On A .

The Broken Wing EP was dually released with Alkaline Trio's newest album, My Shame Is True. This EP is all about Dan Andriano though, and it makes sense why. Where My Shame Is True boasted some of his dullest writing to date, Broken Wing contrasts that in every sense of the word.

"Balanced On A Shelf" is track number one, as well as the first Alkaline Trio song to give me chills in a long time. I can't fathom why this wasn't included on [the retail release of] My Shame Is True; it could have easily swapped spots with "Young Lovers" or "Midnight Blue." The guitar is haunting, delicately tinged with effects, but unlike This Addiction or Crimson, these bells and whistles aren't gratuitous, and they serve to enhance the song. There is also some fabulous harmonizing and vocal work on Matt's end that we haven't really heard in a while. It brings to mind some of the dueling croons from the Goddamnit days.

"Pocket Knife" is Matt's only song on the EP, but it's already made the list for some of my favorite Skiba lyrics: "She came after me with a pocket knife, stuck here in a dream, nightmare of my life." This is classic Matt ?? a sick metaphor for a love gone wrong, and he didn't dumb anything down solely for the sake of being morbid. You can once again relate to his pain without feeling like you paid for a cheap knockoff.

"Broken Wing" is a fantastic third song. It sounds like something that might have been left on Dan's studio floor, but then was rescued and rebooted for the Trio. Musically, it comes off as an unpolished Agony & Irony cut, but still gives off an old-school Alkaline Trio vibe at the same time. There is also a hint of Tuesday within the lyrics, which makes sense. All of the best aspects of Dan are present on this track: catchy pop-punk, held up by strong vocals and a backbone of lyrical mastery.

The final track, "Sun Burns," is definitely the sleeper of the EP ?? but in this case, that's like comparing gold to diamonds. Had it been touched with some different production, it could fit onto Maybe I'll Catch Fire. A stretch, I know, but it really has that younger Dan/Trio-style structure to it, where it's less of verse-chorus-verse, and more about telling a story.

At the risk of overstating myself, this EP epitomizes what Alkaline Trio are about. Thoughtful, heartfelt songs, shaded with love, angst, confusion and hopefulness. Broken Wing represents the mature, natural evolution the band have been working toward, without sacrificing creativity or sounding too contrived. In every aspect, this EP is probably some of their best work ever. It proves that they can progress and evolve without losing their ability to produce catchy, unique and identifiable punk rock.


People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsAlkaline Trio - My Shame Is TrueThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - American SlangThe Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteThe Flatliners - CavalcadeAlkaline Trio - This AddictionThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
filbunke (April 8, 2014)

Great EP!

Some of Andrianos best songs in the last years.

keithybobeefy (September 5, 2013)

This is great and Andriano shines here, but he has some great moments on My Shame Is True (Young Lovers is a great, great song).

TibbsTastic (May 16, 2013)

Really liked this, but why weren't none of these songs on the new LP

ak3punk (April 16, 2013)

Great EP, the full length was great too!

TahoeJeff (April 12, 2013)

The fucking McDonalds ad that covers up the punknews artwork is fucking atrocious . Have some self respect, punknews.

NewKid (April 12, 2013)

The tracks all flow on My Shame Is True. I've seen a lot of hate for My Midnight Blue and a few others, but switching that song from this EP would just end up hurting both releases in my opinion. These are clearly two thought out, separate collections.

lou (April 12, 2013)

This is better than most anything they've done in the last eight to ten years. I don't know when I would have got around to checking it out, but for this review. Thanks.

porksoda (April 10, 2013)

@telegraphrocks: Agony & Irony is way slicker than MSIT. I just meant it sounds a little more raw than the A&I tracks.

@killtaker: SOME of his dullest writing. "I'm Only Here To Disappoint" is his best track on the album, and "I, Pessimist" would be alright if it wasn't for Tim McIlrath.

singthblues (April 10, 2013)

Balanced On A Shelf and Sun Burns are both incredible.

daveyjones (April 10, 2013)

these four songs are superior to the rest of my shame is true, imo.

Russe11 (April 10, 2013)

"Midnight Blue" is essentially on the album because it references the album's theme and title ("my heart is sad but true"). There is no other justification for it being on the album other than that and it just goes to show this is Matt's band at the end of the day and he has final say in what makes the record. No one can argue that "Kiss you to Death Tonight," "Midnight Blue," or "Til Death do Us Part" are better songs than any song on this ep.

And yes, you can argue that these songs don't really fit in with the theme of the album or would sound out of place. But look at "She Lied to the FBI," with its Ramones-esque attitude and simplicity it seems very out of place....but it's still an awesome song.

I DO think, however, that people who think Dan's songs are weak this time around are simply failing to realize Matt's songs are for the most part very strong and it makes Dan's songs not stand out so much by comparison.

traininvain42069 (April 10, 2013)

Very happy about this

killtaker (April 10, 2013)

So "I, Pessimist" and "I'm Only Here To Disappoint" are dull?

Yinzer (April 10, 2013)

Never mind I got it

Yinzer (April 10, 2013)

Where can I get this? That iTunes link doesn't work.

ReelBigMike (April 9, 2013)

Terrific EP that may actually be better than the also great album. "Sun Burns" is a top 10 all-time Alk3 Track. As someone who tends to like Skiba's tracks more, his track is actually the low point of the EP. Dan truly shines on this one.

kylewagoner (April 9, 2013)

Fuck you. Young Lovers is the best song on the album.

telegraphrocks (April 9, 2013)

First, this EP is pretty damn good. "Balanced On A Shelf" is a beautiful song, and I agree that it's absence from the full-length is baffling.

But: "an unpolished Agony & Irony cut"
Seriously? The production and sonic value of "My Shame Is True" (and "Broken Wing", obviously) is pretty goddamn similar to that of "Agony & Irony".
Personally, I think A&I is SONICALLY their best sounding album.

BarleyPat (April 9, 2013)

This E.P. is the best thing they have done in a very long time and I need to get my hands on a copy soon.

bryne (April 9, 2013)

Pretty much agree. There's not a bad song out of these four.

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