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Alkaline Trio - This Addiction (Cover Artwork)

Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio: This AddictionThis Addiction (2010)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

When any band promises a "return to form" it is sure to evoke some enormous expectations. Unfortunately, the result almost always renders in a disappointed consensus; when a band spends years maturing, refining and experimenting, it's impossible to ignore your artistic advancements and simply wallow.
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When any band promises a "return to form" it is sure to evoke some enormous expectations. Unfortunately, the result almost always renders in a disappointed consensus; when a band spends years maturing, refining and experimenting, it's impossible to ignore your artistic advancements and simply wallow in the naivety and sloppiness of the glory days. If anything, it'll sound forced and stale. Alkaline Trio's This Addiction isn't so much a "return to form," but rather a summary--a sonic scrapbook of sorts that carefully documents their entire career, from sour home Chicago to the dressing rooms of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

While most of This Addiction's track listing spins like a better version of their Good Mourning days, it's the subtle allusions to the rest of their catalogue that makes all the difference. On one side you have "Dead on the Floor," which recalls the more tame moments to the acclaimed Goddammit; on the other side, you have the rhythmic, Agony & Irony-styled pop of "Dorothy" (whose hi-hat flow is almost producer Matt Allison's homage to the late, great Jerry Finn). But as much as it is a tribute to themselves, it is to the band's heroes. Dan's Smoking Pope worship on "Dine, Dine, My Darling" is nothing new, but his impression of Glenn Danzig's inflection on "darling!" is unmistakable. Likewise, Matt hits those Jeff Pezzati "whoa"s pretty dead-on.

In true old-school Trio fashion, Matt dominates over Dan in vocal performances...an eight-to-three ratio, to be exact. But with the feel-shifting and goosebump-inducing harmonies, Dan's "Off the Map" proves to be one of the disc's most brilliant moments. Matt's game steps up significantly on the second half of the album with "Eating Me Alive," a track which builds into punchy power chords and a subsequent synth interlude. The amount of years Matt and Dan have invested in the band have really molded a tight cooperation--their individual standout tracks are only made better by their vocal contributions on each other's work. Lastly, "Fine," Dan's best vocal execution to date, shows incredible control and articulation. It puts "Smoke" to shame.

One frustrating detail is Matt's lyrics. They aren't necessarily bad, but they've been significantly dumbed down; Matt once turned cliché into clever and cunning commentary--now they just lack personality and the clichés are just, well...cliché. On the bright side, ironically, "Eating Me Alive" has some "dog shitting razorblades"-worthy metaphors, except with a shark. Moreover, it's your call whether the "hole" in the "head" in "Piss and Vinegar" is a reference to "Old School Reasons."

Because of how disgustingly comprehensive and self-aware This Addiction is, it has an eerie "farewell" vibe. If this is the end of the line for the Trio, I wouldn't be entirely surprised. Let's hope that's not the case: This Addiction's potential is just as much a beginning as it is an end. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - American SlangAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RAgainst Me! - White CrossesAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former Clarity

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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.
ak3punk (February 6, 2013)

In anticipation of the new album I've decided to go bak and listen to this album. What a solid piece of work this is. This album is absolutely fantastic. It's one of their best albums. Reminds me of influences of Goddammit mixed with the best parts of Good Mourning.

Aldogg212 (February 19, 2011)

Yeah i don't know maybe it's me but most of the new cd's of my favorite artist i.e (Against Me!, The Bosstones) have been really mediocre. And This Addiction is no exception. Maybe Bands nowadays aren't trying hard because of all this illegal downloading. No se? But there wasn't one song i enjoyed off this CD. I suggest Matt Skiba's Demos CD over this one. This one is no good.

devianter (October 21, 2010)

blackjaw155
wtf are u talking about ? nothing sounds like Goddamnit. Goddamnit's untouchable.

superskabro (April 5, 2010)

This is a shameless plug, but check out my blog about "This Addiction" here:
http://www.nuvo.net/MusicBlog/archives/2010/04/03/1337694- alkaline-trio-seven-albums-in-and-still-kicking

skatfree (April 1, 2010)

Solid Alk3 album, and that is all.

nocontrol (April 1, 2010)

The Trio never lets me down.great album!

blackjaw155 (March 17, 2010)

I can't believe no one has mentioned that the song Dorothy is about the David Lynch film Blue Velvet. Obviously if you are a fan of the movie the song makes more sense. Also, This Addiction sounds like it was straight off Goddamnit and is my favorite Trio song in al long time.

coffinfullofnails (March 16, 2010)

Is no one even going to mention "lead poisoning"? A track that sounds like old school reasons-ish trio with horns. Something they never done before and I thought came out great . How are you going to leave that out of a review? That shocked me more than anything on the record.

and to the guy who listed goddamnit near the bottom of your list with crimson and shit. Really?...

overdefined (March 16, 2010)

"It's not a mikexdude review without some mention of intellectual music theory masturbation."

Was that in there? Mike is pretty much anti-music theory.

And to the super-troll in this review, you need to move on with your life.

AnEpicProblem (March 15, 2010)

Je n'ai pas peur de la route
Faudrait voir, faut qu'on y goûte
Des méandres au creux des reins
Et tout ira bien là
Le vent nous portera

Ton message à la Grande Ourse
Et la trajectoire de la course
Un instantané de velours
Même s'il ne sert à rien va
Le vent l'emportera
Tout disparaîtra mais
Le vent nous portera

La caresse et la mitraille
Et cette plaie qui nous tiraille
Le palais des autres jours
D'hier et demain
Le vent les portera

Génetique en bandouillère
Des chromosomes dans l'atmosphère
Des taxis pour les galaxies
Et mon tapis volant dis ?
Le vent l'emportera
Tout disparaîtra mais
Le vent nous portera

Ce parfum de nos années mortes
Ce qui peut frapper à ta porte
Infinité de destins
On en pose un et qu'est-ce qu'on en retient?
Le vent l'emportera

Pendant que la marée monte
Et que chacun refait ses comptes
J'emmène au creux de mon ombre
Des poussières de toi
Le vent les portera
Tout disparaîtra mais
Le vent nous portera

14theroad (March 15, 2010)

It's not a mikexdude review without some mention of intellectual music theory masturbation.

souls21 (March 15, 2010)

As someone who has been listening to the "punk" genre of music for years, I only just got around to Alkaline Trio within the past couple years. Needless to say, I have grown very fond of this band and decided to pick up this record. I agree that with the first spin through, not too many tracks really stand out but as you listen to it more and more, every song starts to shine more and more. I honeslty like every song on this and I am really pleased with their so called "return to form". Here's to hoping they keep this up.

flowerfeeder (March 15, 2010)

The iTunes version comes with a killer cover of NOMEANSNO's Two Lips, Two Lungs and One Tongue.

superskabro (March 15, 2010)

A band can only stay fresh for so long. Success will eventually ruin them. That being said, Alkaline Trio has done a solid job of transitioning from writing songs that are meaningful to them to just writing songs for the sake of writing songs. Most of the reasons that influences that inspired the songs that made them famous are gone now. They're not young, poor 20-something alcoholics anymore. Maybe a few songs on Crimson, Agony & Irony and This Addiction come from a special dark place in Dan or Matt's hearts, but for the most part, I think they just use their solid song writing abilities to crank out solid pop-punk "filler". That being said, I have truly enjoyed each and every release from this band (to varying degrees, of course. Goddamnit, Maybe I'll Catch Fire, S/T and most of Good Mourning were all really honest, incredible albums.)

I don't believe in getting band tattoos, but if I ever did, it would have to be Alkaline Trio.

mikexdude (March 15, 2010)

"How can you possibly give this a better review than Direct Hit! #4?"

Not comparable, IMO. One, DH! is an EP and this is a full length, and two because they both accomplish different things. Stop being a negative nancy.

R3vengeTherapy (March 14, 2010)

Excellent review, and not just because I agree with you. You articulated quite well the things about this record that really make it what it is. And your biggest problem with this record is also mine: Skiba's lyrics just don't have what they used to have. However, his lyrics are better on this record than on the past two (or even three) Trio albums, and certainly better than on that awful Heavens record.

This record was a big surprise for an old fan.

colin (March 14, 2010)

no

Indecay (March 14, 2010)

This is pretty good. A lot better than their last two records but not amazing.

damnitsderek (March 14, 2010)

It's not a bad album, but it doesn't have a whole lot of lasting power with me so far. None of the songs just stand out to me too much, besides "Draculina" which is fucking awful. Good, but I don't see this being on my top records of 2010.

milesqtoast (March 14, 2010)

really really like this to my somewhat surprise. Even the title track I know a lot of people said they didnt like, and I understand why, I didn't at first either, but I'm telling you it's a fantastic pop punk song. Usually I have trouble getting beyond the gothy imagery but the songs are so damn catchy I'm yelling draculina at the top of my lungs.

SurfingTurf (March 14, 2010)

Decent Review. I like American Scream b/c of the subtext, about being a war guy who killed himself on his mother's grave. Good Mourning and Goddamnit will always be my favorites. "unhappy wife, shitty life, hit the bottle"

kylewagoner (March 13, 2010)

Fucking amazing album. Period. That's my opinion.

GlassPipeMurder (March 13, 2010)

Mike: Totally with you on the Jerry Finn hi-hat booty shakin' shit he stuck into the albums he produced. That really annoyed me.

Also, why does this cover art remind me of Give Up the Ghost?

Cheesetits (March 13, 2010)

Better than I thought. But it's pretty annoying that most of the Andriano songs are on the special edition version of the cd. And what do you know, those are probably the best songs. "Those Lungs" is great.

chrisafi (March 13, 2010)

Off the Map is just awesome.

Few good tracks, few not so good after that. Best since Good Mourning though

imisschampion (March 13, 2010)

Ive been listening to this pretty frequently since it came out. I didnt like it at first, i thought it was boring as fuck compared to their older stuff. I couldnt disagree more now though. This is one of those trio albums that is going to grow on you.

Also i will agree with a lot of the people on here, the deluxe edition with the 2 additional tracks makes this album much more worth it. Those Lungs is possibly my new favorite trio song, and Kick rocks is solid too. Once again, Dan takes the album. be patient, its fucking good.

makeshifty (March 13, 2010)

How can you possibly give this a better review than Direct Hit! #4? Between that and this fucking dumb FYS banner I might need to stop coming here for a few days.

johnnyawesome (March 13, 2010)

I should have known not to buy this album when I looked at the back to see Matt wearing a North Face jacket. Not cool. the title song is pretty ok, I kinda hate the rest.

AnEpicProblem (March 13, 2010)

Solely on the basis that I was able to listen to the whole album in its entirety without skipping any tracks.

AnEpicProblem (March 13, 2010)

White Crosses > This Addiction

visiting_day (March 13, 2010)

Alkaline Trio has been, and continues to be, my secret shame. Nothing has truly moved me since FHTI. And this album is no different.

But "Those Lungs" is one of the best songs they have ever recorded. Quite possibly one of my favorite songs of all time (I can't stop listening to it).

And they left it off of the album. Oy vey.

Big_Guy (March 13, 2010)

as much of a "comeback" album this is, it isn't that great. kinda boring

mikexdude (March 13, 2010)

Of course it's speculation, but its interesting that the one album not recorded with Finn is almost completely devoid of that influence. In addition, this album seems deliberate on almost every single level, from self-referencing and stuff.

mikexdude (March 13, 2010)

Greg,

Yeah, I know arguing is futile. If anyone ever wants to complain about something I wrote, you can email me personally so I can really soak it in for next time.

Also: Towards the end of Finn's career, every band he produced utalized a lot of that high hat-80s type beat and influence in general -- you know which I'm talking about? See: AFI's Decemberunderground, Tiger Army, Plus 44, Crimson etc etc

greg0rb (March 13, 2010)

Wow, I haven't seen this many comments on a review in a long time. Love the back and forth, but Mike, I learned my lesson a long time ago: don't respond to trolls. It's what they want, they feed off of it. I used to do it, but I learned that, just like what your elementary teachers tell you when someone is bullying you on the swings - just ignore them and they'll stop. It really works!

Also, please explain to me 'the hihat flow' being a nod to Jerry Finn. Even as a drummer, this confused me. Thanks! :)

hashbrowns (March 13, 2010)

Every time I hear Dan's vocal harmonies on the very last "I can row, row, row my boat back to shore someday..." I get light headed from all the blood rushing to my dong.

jacknife737 (March 13, 2010)

Solid fucking album, and quite a relief.

I never disliked the past two records: they were all filled with awesome pop songs, but they weren't really the Trio that i fell in love with when i first heard their S/T or even Good Mourning.

That said, i've had a sort of "reawakening" when it comes to Crimson: i really, really dig that disk now as well.

TahoeJeff (March 13, 2010)

@andburntherest Record companies generally send out promotional copies of records to reviewers. The reviewers then write a review of whatever version of the record was provided to them. If Epitaph/Heart & Skull had provided copies of the extended version, you would probably be reading a review of that version. But from what I understand, they did not send out promo copies of the extended version because they didn't want the bonus songs to be leaked. They probably wanted people to still have a reason to buy the record. I find it interesting that you have never reviewed an album, but are calling MIke lazy. WHy don't you review the extended version. I'm sure the org would be happy to post it.

Read more: http://www.punknews.org/reviews#ixzz0i32XRO0S

mikexdude (March 13, 2010)


If you're an editor here, and you're making the decision to review an album, knowing full well that an extended version was released on the SAME DAY, don't you think you should make the effort to listen to the one with more content on it? Most of the commenters below have listened to it. If you're not going to be thorough, don't waste my time. You're a joke.


If you would like to talk about this further, please email me and I'll tell you the many ways how you're wrong.

quickattack (March 13, 2010)

Really solid album, also the bonus tracks are awesome.

I was wondering when this would get reviewed, it seems like it would of by now.

harekrishna (March 12, 2010)

it's not as good as blah blah blah. give these guys a break. i think they have evolved nicely. yea their old stuff was great, but so is their new stuff. this band is totally solid in my opinion and i wish them all success.

icapped2pac (March 12, 2010)

decent. a moderate improvement over the last one. that's it.

istapledmyfoot (March 12, 2010)

I just realized "agony & irony" is a pun on "ebony & ivory"

hayman (March 12, 2010)

It's good but that's not hard after the piece of crap last album. I was hoping for more bite on this album.

slymer (March 12, 2010)

I've tried to like Okkervil River. They just don't do it for me. I like a few tracks here and there. My friend Justin brought over their latest album and we listened to it while playing FIFA one night. It was just kinda boring. Alkaline Trio is one of my all-time faves. I still enjoy their shitty albums. Sorry if I don't reach your standards dude. I really don't know why it matters to you though. I've never heard Guided by Voices, but my friend Rick likes them.

Apeman_on_the_moon (March 12, 2010)

Who was the musical expert that didn't think "Those Lungs" was good enough to not only be on the record, but the first single? Ridiculous.

TSOL (March 12, 2010)

@andburntherest

They aren't part of the album, just like the 12 minute "Bonus Track" on Stay Positive is not considered part of that album. If Alk3 wanted people to see them as the last 4 songs on the album they would not be 'bonus tracks'. Following that logic, the Crimson review does not evaluate every demo and acoustic version of the 10 bonus tracks from that release. It's not necessary. Troll.

TSOL (March 12, 2010)

@AnEpicProblem

The troll got trolled :lol:

andburntherest (March 12, 2010)

"Lazy? Because I'm reviewing the ALBUM and not the bonus disc that I didn't get? Interesting."

If you're an editor here, and you're making the decision to review an album, knowing full well that an extended version was released on the SAME DAY, don't you think you should make the effort to listen to the one with more content on it? Most of the commenters below have listened to it. If you're not going to be thorough, don't waste my time. You're a joke.

AnEpicProblem (March 12, 2010)

Sorry you like such a shitty band, by the way. Give Guided by Voices and Okkervil River a try; it's about time that you learn to appreciate good music.

overdefined (March 12, 2010)

"Alkaline Trio is a band that only people with severely impaired judgement can appreciate."

You are a troll. You also spelled "judgment" wrong.

AnEpicProblem (March 12, 2010)

Alkaline Trio is a band that only people with severely impaired judgement can appreciate.

misterspike (March 12, 2010)

Better than Agony ... on par with Crimson. In my opinon, their most solid release since Good Mourning.

scientistrock (March 12, 2010)

Is good.

nocontrol (March 12, 2010)

Great album from start to finish. Good Mourning is still my favorite.

hubitcherkokov (March 12, 2010)

I think I'm one of the 4 people that thought "Agony and Irony" was a great album, and I was really looking forward to this. However, "Fine" and the Dan b-sides are the only things worth listening to from the whole session.

slymer (March 12, 2010)

Excellent album. Off the Map is an awesome song. Wish there was a little more Dan.

shieldmyeyes (March 12, 2010)

just didn't get into it. not enough on first spin to give it the chance to grow on me. i am pretty much done with the trio and don't really care what they realease next because it's sure enough to be crap. good mourning is the best, better than FHTI and Goddamnit... always thought both of those records were very overrated.

happynolucky (March 12, 2010)

It's no Goddamnit or Good Mourning but it's still a solid album. Dead on the Floor, Off the Map, and Kick Rocks are my favs

mikexdude (March 12, 2010)

I'm actually surprised of the general positivity in the comments. Good work, trio!

ricomedy (March 12, 2010)

Was really let down by this record. Can't believe the general consensus is positive. Agony & Irony was a much better record (I actually liked it, and I'm also in the minority).

Maybe I'll give this another spin. Seems like I'm missing something.

Also, the title and cover art for this is awful.

morelikeguidont (March 12, 2010)

This record is definitely better than their last one, but I still can't get into it. It reminds me of when an actor does a ridiculous comedy or an awful film in general and you just can't take them seriously anymore. I just can't get over how horrible Agony and Irony was (to me at least) - especially songs like Love, Love, Kiss, Kiss or whatever the fuck it was called.

alchron77 (March 12, 2010)

I've never understood the appeal of this band

scruffy (March 12, 2010)

"havent heard this yet but ive noticed the trend with alk3 is the more matt starts worshipping satan the worse the band gets."

Well, what you say is actually true, because he seems to be giving up that shit. There's none of it on the album. And it's their best album in years.

telegraphrocks (March 12, 2010)

A solid 7/10

Better than From Here To Infirmary and Crimson, but that's about it.

"Off The Map" is a beautiful fucking song.

scorpiondeathlock (March 12, 2010)

havent heard this yet but ive noticed the trend with alk3 is the more matt starts worshipping satan the worse the band gets.

Anarchypants (March 12, 2010)

Fantastic album - and so are all the rest.

Michael_Berryman (March 12, 2010)

love it. but i loved Agony & Irony and Crimson too.

AnEpicProblem (March 12, 2010)

I was unaware of how low some people's standards are. There is nothing special about this album. Why don't you fools get a clue and start gushing over the Cute Lepers instead?

TSOL (March 12, 2010)

Agree with the review. It was a good album, much better than Agony and Irony, but the lyrics are somewhat lacking compared to older releases.

Maybe I'll Catch Fire, [self-titled comp], From Here to the Infirmary, Good Mourning > This Addiction > Goddamnit, Crimson, Agony & Irony. At least imo.

ZachLeg (March 12, 2010)

I would have substituted Those Lungs for Draculina

wallrock (March 12, 2010)

I came with somewhat low expectations, despite all of the "return to form" hype I'd heard. I was definitely impressed upon first listen, and it's gotten better on subsequent spins. I didn't get the version with the bonus tracks so I don't know about those, but for my money 'Off The Map' is my favorite so far.

skankbook (March 12, 2010)

It makes you forget that Crimson and Agony & Irony ever came out, although I do agree that that the lyrics have become pretty cliche. The bonus tracks are better than the Dan songs on the actual album, and the live DVD has performances of "Warbrain" and "My Friend Peter," making the extra $3 worth it.

ashtraymonument (March 12, 2010)

well i didn't hate, but I didn't love it. I liked it better than the last two, but very little stuck out as fantastic.

Off the Map is friggin awesome though

mikexdude (March 12, 2010)

If you're going to review an album, review the whole thing. Kick Rocks and Those Lungs are great Dan songs that should have been mentioned.

You're a staff member right? Don't be lazy."


Lazy? Because I'm reviewing the ALBUM and not the bonus disc that I didn't get? Interesting.

insinceredave (March 12, 2010)

Oh, also did you Americans get the acoustic bonus tracks?

They're pretty sweet, especially the acoustic version of 'Dead on the Floor'

mattramone (March 12, 2010)

Got this in the mail yesterday and gave it the first serious listen. Not only do I no longer feel embarassed for them, it's actually a pretty kick ass album. They should never record with anyone but Matt Allison.

andburntherest (March 12, 2010)

If you're going to review an album, review the whole thing. Kick Rocks and Those Lungs are great Dan songs that should have been mentioned.

You're a staff member right? Don't be lazy.

paulrulzdood (March 12, 2010)

good review, decent album. Better than Agony & Irony, at least this one kind of sounds like older Alk3, but it's still pretty watered down compared to their first 4 brilliant albums. it's hard to keep that kind of pace going your whole career. I'd put this one ahead of Agony and maybe ahead of Crimson, but still short of those first 4.

"this addiction" and "american scream" are the closest things they've done to "good mourning" era Trio since the One Man Army split in '04. Neither song kicks ass, but both harken back to their older material and have the core Trio sound to them. As stated in the review, Dan does really shine on his 3 songs, especially "i'm fine", his vocals have nver been better and the songs are great, but clearly, he can't write enough material to carry the band alone or even contribute an equal share, but what he does contribute are some of the best moments of the album.

The second half of the album gets pretty mediocre other than the closing track..."draculina" and "dorothy" just don't do it for me, the "eating me alive" synth sounds like Crimson material and I don't particuarly care for their 80s synth vibe songs. "piss and vineger" is OK, but pretty much is filler. "lead poisoning" sounds musically like a NOFX song the second that trumpet kicks in which is pretty funny. and "dead on the floor" is a pretty good slow track, not up there with "you're dead" or "san francisco" or anything, but along those lines and well done. overall, improvement, but it sure seems '98-'04 was their heyday and that's just hte way it is.

for a Trio of successful career musicians now in their 30s, it's pretty solid. i don't see this going another decade though, and if it does, it's probably going to get really mediocre. Paul

insinceredave (March 12, 2010)

Hhhhmmmm I'm still giving it a chance but its not a patch on their early stuff

That said, its a lot better than Crimson and A&I

TahoeJeff (March 12, 2010)

I really likr this record. It's newer, but you can definitely hear hints of the older records in there. "Off the Map" isprobably my favorite song on the record. The only song that I'm not really a big fan of is "Draculina". That song is kind of embarrassing.

thirtyseconds (March 12, 2010)

I'm enjoying this more with every listen. What I especially like is that you can tell they wrote this together, in the rehearsal room.

I don't think it's the end.

theproblemwithfire (March 12, 2010)

is it true you get a bottle of eyeliner with this when you buy it?

GlassPipeMurder (March 12, 2010)

nice review. i'm interested in hearing this after having no interest in their previous release.

thepopeofchili-town (March 12, 2010)

I agree with this score, and with the review for the most part, just change "Slightly better version of their Good Mourning days" to "Slightly less good version of their Good Mourning days".

mrstylson (March 12, 2010)

Love this album, but Good Mourning is my favorite of theirs, so there's your grain of salt.

ZachLeg (March 12, 2010)

Really great review. "from sour home Chicago" That made me laugh.

And I hope it's not the end

Blackjaw_ (March 12, 2010)

It's ok, but I'm not the biggest Alk3 fan. Good Mourning and Goddamnit are the only two I REALLY like.

AnEpicProblem (March 12, 2010)

Thee worst album I've heard so far this year. I downloaded it out of curiosity, and I couldn't make it through a single mind-numblingly generic, repetitive song.

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