Review: ‘This Addiction’

I have not been a fan of Alkaline Trio for several releases. The digital age ruined their punk age that made it okay to listen to emo. In fact, front-man Matt Skiba was not even heart-broken enough to write legitimate emo music. Well, “This Addiction” changes that. Not only was it released on their brand new independent label, Heart & Skull Records, but Matt Skiba got a divorce.

The title track to “This Addiction” kicks off the album with a pop punk anthem, using driving bass and distorted guitar to fly through a mood-setting song. Depressing themes, like comparing love to heroin, is only the beginning of Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano’s dark and often satanic image that clouds the album.

“Dine, Dine my Darling” is a witty play on words of an old Misfit’s song titled, “Die, Die my Darling.” It makes sense, with the Mifits being a huge influence on Alkaline Trio’s style, especially in the early days. Though still containing dark imagery, “Dine” plays as a much more light-hearted track, as Dan Andriano wrote it, not Matt Skiba.

A lot of the album seems like an ode to Alkaline Trio’s early days. “Dead on the Floor” has a guitar riff similar to many of Alkaline Trio’s original songs, like the introduction to “Clavicle” or the main riff in one of their best tracks, “Radio.”

Tracks like “Lead Poisening,” “Draculina” and “Eating Me Alive” all include alternative instruments: trumpets, organ and synth respectively. This brings out a strong diversity within the album that I love, especially on “Eating Me Alive,” which plays as an ’80s pop song among the many punk songs on the album.

Alkaline Trio also delved into politics with the song “American Scream.” Politics can ruin a band if they get too obsessed, but Alkaline Trio deals with the subject well, showing grief in how the returning veterans feel. The song was written after Matt Skiba read an article about a returning soldier who committed suicide on his mother’s grave.

Overall, the album played extremely well. I have officially become a fan of Alkaline Trio again because they have truly redeemed themselves with “This Addiction.”