Alkaline Trio – Agony & Irony

4 stars (out of 5)

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AlkalineThis new medium paced sounding Alkaline Trio is a refreshing new version of the band; more an evolution than the sound a conscious change. It’s still very much the same band; they just seem to be exploring their influences. Still, with the band signing to a major and production values being higher than ever it’s obvious that some will utter the words ‘Sell Out’.

From the indie-rock sounds of In Vein to a folksy ¾ time signature on Live Young, Die Fast I see a band who are beginning to transgress their Punk roots. The synthesisers are starting to take over.

Over and Out and I Found Away are pretty light on the guitar but driven by drums and Synthesisers instead.Alkaline Trio have always split their vocals evenly between Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano, though Agony & Irony is very Matt heavy on the vocal front. Dan sings lead on a mere 3 tracks leaving the other 8 to Matt, Which is a pity because Dan’s vocals sound better than ever.

Expect some sketchy lyrics on this album. Lines such as ‘Live young, die fast, no one will last’ and ‘I crossed the T’s and scratched out all these eyes’ sound more like a self-parody than the clever lyrics with the dark twist that we’re used to.

To the hardcore Alkaline Trio fan this album may be hard to get used to at first. It’s definitely a big change but trust me, it’s a grower.