|2||Dine, Dine My Darling||Lyrics/Info||2:58|
|4||Dead On The Floor||Lyrics/Info||4:20|
|5||The American Scream||Lyrics/Info||2:59|
|6||Off The Map||Lyrics/Info||3:15|
|8||Eating Me Alive||Lyrics/Info||2:53|
|9||Piss And Vinegar||Lyrics/Info||2:27|
From the opening seconds of the title track of Alkaline Trio’s seventh studio album This Addiction, it appears the Chicago-bred threesome may have found the place its entire career has been leading. While the album’s opener blazes at a tempo reminiscent of the band’s 1998 debut Goddamnit and features a signature Matt Skiba lyric of fatal co-dependency, the whole affair feels strangely... comfortable? By the time second track “Dine, Dine My Darling”--if you don’t get the joke, it’s probably not worth explaining—kicks in with Dan Andriano providing his traditionally lighter foil to Skiba’s obsidian musings, it’s clear: Alkaline Trio has settled into an unforeseeable maturity—at least by Alkaline Trio standards—and it suits them just fine.
Whether pervading the darkly perverse Blue Velvet-inspired strains of Skiba’s “Dorothy” or Andriano’s sardonic “Fine,” this newfound air of ease owes no small debut to the circumstances of This Addiction’s release. The album is the first physical manifestation of Alkaline Trio’s own Heart & Skull label, formed in partnership with its longtime fans and friends at Epitaph Records. Named for the imagery of the Alkaline Trio logo seen on so much of the band’s album art, merchandise, and tattooed on the bodies of its Blood Pact fan club members across the world, Heart & Skull represents the band members’ new level of control of their own destiny (all three are partners in the label). Having released its previous albums through virtually every other label permutation the business has had to offer—early EPs and albums on tiny indies Johann’s Face and Asian Man, hundreds of thousands of records sold on Vagrant, and 2008’s Agony & Irony, the band’s highest charting record to date, released by Epic—Alkaline Trio finally and truly feels at home.
Alkaline Trio’s iconic Heart & Skull symbol has come to represent more than the viscerally creative band and their deeply connective albums. While it does symbolize those things, the instantly recognizable logo tattooed on the bodies, hearts and minds of supporters worldwide also denotes a diverse but decisive lifestyle equal parts passion and dedication. It’s a commitment to the triumph of the outsider.
Those who display the emblem do so as a badge, a show of unity in individuality. Like the skeleton-with-a-martini attached to Social Distortion, the Crimson Ghost associated with the Misfits or the “bars” intrinsically linked to Black Flag, Alkaline Trio’s logo is representative of subculture itself; a type of victory, through longevity and purpose, that transcends arbitrary commercial appeal and celebrity groupthink.
Now more than ...