Music, Sight & Sound

Esquire streams Alkaline Trio’s Tony Sly cover

Fat Wreck is slated to release the much anticipated tribute to Tony Sly in a few weeks and Esquire(!!) is premiering the first official recording from it. We’ve written about how much Tony Sly influenced us, and we can’t wait to hear this record. There are a slate of great artists involved in the project and proceeds from the release are going to the Tony Sly Memorial Fund for his wife and children.

Check out the official LP track listing below and hit up the link to listen to Alkaline Trio’s cover of No Use For a Name’s “Straight From The Jacket”. The album is out October 29th via Fat Wreck.

A Tribute To Tony Sly

1: Karina Denike Biggest Lie
2: Mad Caddies AM
3: Strung Out Soulmate
4: Rise Against For Fiona
5: Bad Religion Let It Slide
6: NOFX The Shortest Pier
7: Snuff On the Outside
8: The Bouncing Souls Homecoming
9: Old Man Markley Feel Good Song of the Year
10: Lagwagon Discomfort Inn
11: Teenage Bottlerocket Via Munich
12: Frank Turner Keira
13: Get Dead Pre-Medicated Murder
14: Pennywise Devonshire and Crown
15: Alkaline Trio Straight from the Jacket
16: The Gaslight Anthem Capo 4th Fret
17: Yellowcard Already Won
18: Swingin’ Utters Not Your Savior
19: The Flatliners Fireball
20: Simple Plan Justified Black Eye
21: Useless ID Frances Stewart
22: Jon Snodgrass & the Dead Peasants On the Outside
23: American Steel Dark Corner
24: Frenzal Rhomb Flying South
25: Anti-Flag Toaster in the Bathtub
26: Joey Cape with Scorpios International You Day


Album Reviews

Review: Alkaline Trio – My Shame Is True

Matt Skiba has confessed that the songs he wrote for My Shame Is True are very much catharsis for a romantic relationship gone sour. Yet as one wanders through the Alkaline Trio back catalogue, it is not a stretch to say that much of the agony, anger and melancholy heard seems to come from this very source; that a complicated connection between two people is as friction fueled as a power chord. One listen to classic tracks like “Radio” and “Stupid Kid” and one can see a bright bitterness resonate through both the words and the music. So perhaps this, their ninth studio album, as Skiba notes, wasn’t meant to be a “personal record”, it just turned in to one. The results are the most profound they’ve been in almost a decade.

Gone are the more punk rock oriented numbers like “Private Eye” and “Goodbye Forever”, their ethos replaced by the more languid, fluid sounding song writing they began to explore in Crimson. Much of My Shame Is True takes its cues from what they laid down in 2010’s This Addiction; mid-tempos, extended bridges, more succinct melodies that while tone down their angst, are no less urgent. This includes some of the album’s best tracks, “Kiss You To Death” and “Midnight Blue”- all while keeping Skiba’s lyrical ability for being emotional without sounding over dramatic; “I don’t care if we fuck / or we if talk / or we cry / I just miss you / I want to kiss you to death tonight”.

Pleasantly surprising, is the quality of the Dan Andriano-sung work this time around. He’s sung on one of the best Alkaline Trio songs to date (“I’m Dying Tomorrow”), but perhaps down to personal tastes, there’s always been a preference to Skiba-sung tracks. On My Shame Is True however, the Andriano numbers are brilliant. “Only Love”, with its piano-laced contemplations, and the live-for-today ode of “Young Lovers”, come across as some of the best post-Crimson tracks the band have written.

It is foolish to think the band will ever write another Maybe I’ll Catch Fire or From Here To Infirmary. But with My Shame is True, Alkaline Trio, along with the Blasting Room crew (who seem to be busier than ever), have produced their most assured record to date. They are sounding as comfortable with their sound as t they’ve ever been, and with it comes the creative freedom to write songs that resonate on both a personal and aesthetic level. This is the record that Agony & Irony and This Addiction wanted to be. (Heart & Skull / Epitaph)

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

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Epitaph are streaming the new Alkaline Trio record via YouTube. The new album, My Shame Is True, is set for release April 2nd and is the follow-up to their 2010 album My Addiction.

This clunky stream is cut into separate YouTube videos so it’s not the easiest of streams to get through, but we’re getting a good feeling about the new album. Sounds like a positive follow-up that features the best of old and new Alk3.


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Alkaline Trio have debuted the fourth song from their upcoming new album My Shame Is True. Slated to drop April 2nd on Epitaph, the album is the follow- up to 2010’s studio effort This Addiction.

I’ve been partial to Skiba songs moreso than Andriano ones in the past, and so far, nothing has changed. The album’s first single, “I Wanna Be A Warhol”, can be heard here.



Mike Park to reunite all Asian Man bands for 15th anniversary?

In a news story we inexplicably missed last week, Mike Park, the founder and head of super DIY labeAsian Man Records, is planning to reunite every single band that has ever released anything on the label!

The plan is to have everyone play the 15th Anniversary festival celebrating the label’s vast accomplishments, set to take place June 16th, 17th, 18th of next year in San Francisco.

While many of the bands that have released material on the label are still thriving today (including Alkaline Trio, Less than Jake, The Queers, The Lawrence Arms and Buck-O-Nine to name a few), there are a few notable defunct bands that will certainly have us considering a trip out to San Francisco if reunited. It’s all rather ambitious at the moment, and while we’re keeping this as more of a hopeful thing than a reality, we sincerely support Mike Park in his endeavors to create what would truly be, the one music festival making an effort to see.

Here now, are videos of our favorite Asian Man bands long gone:

Slapstick – “There’s a Metalhead in the Parking Lot” (still the greatest ska/punk song ever written)

The Broadways – “15 Minutes”

Skankin’ Pickle – “I Missed The Bus” (Mike Park’s band from the late 80s/early 90s)

Music, Videos

Plugged in and ready to fall

In response to the debacle that has become LeBron James’ forever tarnished legacy, I could not help but think of the very best break-up songs I’ve encountered. The choices are great and many, and not including the more accepted mainstream offerings (please, no Guns N’ Roses, no Bob Marley, no Fleetwood Mac, and for the love of all that is good and pure, no Billy Ray fucking Cyrus), some of them are just down right venomous— the way they’re meant to be.

Sure enough, LeBron received his own break up “song” of sorts; a somewhat hilarious (and perhaps, written in a drunken rage) letter from Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert. In it’s horrendously fonted text, Gilbert calls James, among other things, “cowardly” and a “betrayer” … I like this sort of ranting.

Nonetheless, in song form, I tend to gravitate towards Alkaline Trio’s spitefully crafted wordplay when it comes to songs of woe. They’re great at it, and I immediately thought of the song “Radio”, which includes one of my favorite refrains of hatred;

“I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with you my darling
In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying
I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you,
plugged in and ready to fall.”

Unfortunately, they never did do a video for it (you can listen to it streaming here), so in place of such fine songwriting, we’ll go with the second best song of hate and regret they’re written; “Stupid Kid.” It’s simple enough, but combined with the video, is a swift song of revenge that hits the mark in just the right places. I hope for your sake LeBron, karma isn’t as big of a bitch.

Album Reviews, Music

Review: Alkaline Trio – Agony And Irony

Grappling with change is a seemingly routine aspect of life that we often have a great deal of trouble with. Over the course of these past few months, I’ve found a level of comfort in the Alkaline Trio’s sound, not so much its aesthetics, but rather its often vengeful/spiteful mantra that, I’m sure, speaks out to a great deal to some of us (see songs like; “Stupid Kid,” “Radio” where getting revenge was more than just hateful words). Progression was of course, inevitable, as the band’s popularity grew, their sound expanded from the raw days of their southern rock/punk beginnings to the more gothic-inspired nature of their recent album (2005’s Crimson), to the more dark-pop tone of the new Agony & Irony. Yet as the polish gleamed, their attitude behind the songs never wavered, sure, they’re on MTV a lot more, and the songs are less aggressive and more calculated, but the venom underlining them is still craftily woven in with their trademark spite.

I for one am all-ears to the handclaps of “Calling All Skeletons,” the piano accompaniment of “Help Me” (which Skiba wrote in tribute to Ian Curtis), the mid-tempo nature of “Do You Wanna Know?” Each are beautifully crafted pop songs without the bubblegum gloss normally associated with it, and as the crescendo from the death-stricken (would it be anything else?) “Over and Out” melds into the brilliant “I Found Away,” it is clear that Alkaline Trio have reached a creative apex. The latter track, proof that punk attitude can successfully amalgamate with pop leanings and indie fervor without losing any of its substance. “I Found Away” climbs high on their list of bitter songs that in every way, strikes the right chords.

As you would expect, Agony & Irony is not for every Trio fan. You’ll hear those grumble that they don’t write songs like “Goodbye Forever” anymore, or that they’ve lost much of their acidic veneer as it evolves into a more recognized, albeit blackened, face. Yet I’ve always found that accepting change comes down to the personal connection you make with whatever is changing and how it continues to communicate (or not) with you. I don’t care so much that the video for “Help Me” is so painfully cheesy (what? No Will Smith?), or that they’ve got their own Nike brand shoe (enticing I have to say), because in Agony & Irony I’ve found a place to relate my frustrations of coming-of-age; the futility and the complicated mess of life ever evident and the clenched fists of hope in broken hearts.

Alkaline Trio – I Found Away (from the album Agony & Irony)

Agony & Irony is now available via Amazon.