Review: Alkaline Trio – E.P.

Over the last decade, I really lost tack of Alkaline Trio. The band’s releases in the early 2010’s just didn’t pack the punch they should have, and were overshadowed by guitarist Matt Skiba’s time and work in Blink 182. In the last few years, Alkaline Trio sound completely reinvigorated. Following the trend set by Is This Thing Cursed?, the surprise release of the three song E.P. is some of the most relevant and responsive music Alkaline Trio have released in quite some time.

You can buy or stream E.P. on Apple Music.

At a quick nine minutes, E.P. blazes by, but gives a hint as to where the next Alkaline record may journey. Opener “Minds Like a Minefield”, led by guitarist Matt Skiba, sizzles with a quick pace and features “Whoa-ohs” that feel like an homage to his time in Blink 182. Featuring Skiba’s trademark horror influenced lyrics (“You placed me upon the wheel / In your torture chamber, my remains were / Left next to my last meal”), the track branches out with a layered and intricate bridge that slows before exploding into a frenzy of intricate chaos.

Bassist Dan Adriano helms the other two tracks, starting with “Radio Violence”, with dreamy instrumentation during verses, a poppy chorus, and a truly satisfying guitar solo. “Smokestack” is an acoustic reflection looking back on a hard life and being thankful for the path there. Each line is as melancholy as expected from Alkaline Trio, but the delivery makes the song sound sweeter and more humble than it actually means to be (“Well, I was scared as hell as I was standing at that open bar / I saw a life go past that I guess I could’ve had, but I didn’t try very hard”).

It’s just a taste of new music, but E.P. is a solid addition to Alkaline Trio’s catalog. If it’s any indication of the direction that their next album may take, the future’s looking bright.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and has been pricing fainting couches, should an appropriate occasion to use one crop up.

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