Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed? (Cover Artwork)

Alkaline Trio

Is This Thing Cursed? (2018)


It's been far too long since we've gotten an Alkaline Trio album, five years is their longest gap between albums. and some have began to worry that the trio is done for. When Skiba joined Blink-182 (an unusual fit, if you were to ask me) these worries got even worse. However, out of nowhere, Alkaline Trio broke their silence and released Blackbird as well as confirming a new album. Now, I was rather suspicious about this song at first, I had no idea what to expect. However, only seconds in, I was absolutely blown away. Alkaline Trio was back.

Here we are in 2018, and we finally have the album. But how good is it really?

The album begins with the title track, Is This Thing Cursed? It starts out with a beautiful, slow piano with Dan's soothing voice completing it. The entire band comes in, and kicks down the door with the best opening track since Good Mourning. We drift into Blackbird, a Matt song which is the most aggressive one on the album. The album continues with Demon And Division, a song that sounds like a mix of Mercy Me from Crimson and You've Got So Far To Go from Maybe I'll Catch Fire. This song is catchy to the point where it's impossible to listen without bouncing your head up and down. Little Help? is another Dan song that sounds peppy and really fun. I Can't Believe is one of my favorite songs on this album, with the best chorus the band has ever crafted. Sweet Vampires feels like a callback to My Shame Is True, sounding almost like She Lied To The FBI. Near the middle of the album, Pale Blue Ribbon is another peppy Dan song. A great song, similar to Little Help? Goodbye Fire Island is a slightly darker song from Matt, recalling the trainwreck of the Fyre Festival. Stay is a fantastic Dan song, and so good, I can't even describe it. My favorite track off of this album, Heart Attacks, has a slow and steady beat, and sounds a little different compared to what we've gotten so far, yet it fits perfectly. Worn So Thin continues the greatness of the album with it's stomping beat, before Throw Me To The Lions blasts in to the room, with rhythms that any other band could only dream of writing. Finally, we get the end of the album, Krystalline. 

It's beautiful. It's absolutely beautiful. I love everything about this song, Matt's voice during the verses and chorus, the acoustic guitar, everything about this song just feels right. It's My Shame Is True done in one song, and in just 3 and a half minutes. This might be a controversial thing to say, but this song might be just as good as Radio. The lyrics on this entire album have never felt more real. Some fans have complained about Alkaline Trio's lyrics feeling artificial and too dark, but this album has lyrics that are like you can actually feel the pain. Matt's guitar work, Dan's bass, and Derek's drumming is their best in years. 

You can tell that the trio are having more fun than they have ever had before, and it's wonderful to see the guys making music again that they love. I honestly have zero complaints about this album, it's absolutely amazing. This is an album that old AK3 fans, new AK3 fans, and maybe even Blink-182 fans will love. Each of the members stand out in every song, and this is a perfect return.

Welcome back, Alkaline Trio, we've certainly missed you.