Alkaline Trio Goddamnit

[Asian Man; 1998]

Styles: punk-pop, indie-punk, emo
Others: Pennywise, Link 80

If you live in Madison for any length of time, you run into a lot of people who are fanatical about three bands: the Promise Ring, Braid, and Alkaline Trio. Every morning I wake up in this town, I hate the Promise Ring a little bit more, make a mental note to check out Braid, and am more convinced that the Alkaline Trio are the best punk band around right now.

The Trio’s first album, Goddamnit, is a good example of their good points and their not so good points. So, what could be bad about this album? First off, nearly every song deals with girls and alcohol. Of course, girls and alcohol are pretty universal themes. This is a punk band we are talking about; we don’t really expect them to start singing about gucci piggies or wild packs of family dogs any time soon. Second, punk music tends to all sound the same after awhile.

The last couple songs on this album always go by without much notice. However, the first half of this album is extremely rocking. “Clavicle” perfectly sums up the elation and clumsiness that comes with a new crush in a frantic two and a half minutes. The band seems to be in a hurry to get their songs out, banging thro “Cop” and “Cringe”, throwing in drum and bass fills in anywhere they can squeeze them. It’s raw, it‘s loud, it gets the blood pumping and it hits quickly on a gut level.

Within a couple of listens, lyrics to half the songs had permanently carved themselves into my brain. Songs have associated themselves with parts of my life in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time. That’s what is great about the Alkaline Trio: catchy, rocking songs that can really connect with you, or at the least make you want to flail your skinny limbs about in an embarrassing manner.

1. Cringe
2. Cop
3. San Francisco
4. Nose over Tail
5. As You Were
6. Enjoy Your Day
7. Clavicle
8. My Little Needle
9. Southern Rock
10. Message from Kathlene
11. Trouble Breathing
12. Sorry About That