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Alkaline Trio - Agony and Irony

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Matt Skiba - Vocals, Guitar
Dan Andriano - Vocals, Bass
Derek Grant – Drums


            A little band from Chicago, no I don’t mean Fall Out Boy, which has music characterized by super dark lyrics, catchy choruses, and fast tempos, not to mention the subject matter of love, alcoholism, depression, fire, drugs, death and Satan, has come screaming back after 3 long years. The band that is now on a major label for the first time has that major label sound that is getting mixed reviews from fans, but that isn’t anything new for Alkaline Trio. Each album before Agony & Irony has changed slightly to mold into the band they are today. Agony & Irony begins with the track “Calling All Skeletons.” The track gets off to a quick start with Matt Skiba singing to an odd guitar riff. It then gets very pop-punkish with the style of vocals and a very indicting set of lyrics, with an added bonus of clapping. Spinning off second is the lead single of Agony & Irony. “Help Me” it offers up plenty to love as it sticks to your ears like syrup on pancakes. With great driving guitars and “la la la la’s” throughout the track it was a great pick as a single. “In Vein” has a unique sound as it seems that they infused a bit of a Jazz impression to the track as well as letting Dan take the helm on the lead vocals. “Over and Out” is a track that will leave you speechless. It’s very dark lyrical content had me instantly opening the book and reading the lyrics. The shortest track on the album also is very catchy musically and will have you repeating it over and over. “I Found Away” begins with a recording then an addition of a guitar until it slips in the vocals. As the track progresses through the recording to guitar to vocals to drums it picks up speed until it explodes altogether during the chorus. “Do You Wanna Know” start second half of the album off with another up beat track that has a great sound. The vocals drive the track home the entire track with an upbringing guitar sound during the chorus and solid drums throughout. It does though repeat a good bit which drives the likeability of the song down. “Live Young, Die Fast” begins with a great high energy guitar, but then slows down when the vocals enter. It does track to pick it up a bit with the guitars again, but it really doesn’t work to well. It too, like the previous track, repeats a lot. “Love Love, Kiss Kiss” continues down the same path as the last 2 tracks. It is an okay track, but doesn’t hold up against the first set of tracks. It does offer some dual vocals, but again more repeating. “Lost and Rendered” begins a bit better than 5, 6 and 7. It has raging guitars and an upbeat tempo in all aspects. It like track one adds in some claps throughout the track not to mention some other added effects. It defiantly brings the album back to its feet. “Ruin It” begins a little weird with its vocals, but it an intriguing weird that gets you focused on every aspect of the song and gets you into it deep. The last track “Into the Night” ends the album on a high energy note. With slide work on the guitar, pounding drums and great vocals is a great way to end the album. The song draws you in and keeps you glued to it. It mad me want to start the whole experience over again and again. Overall this is a very good major label release. With all but the three tracks in the middle of the album it is solid. Eight great, outstanding tracks out of eleven are not bad in this day and age. I don’t know how many albums I own or reviewed that there is only 2 or 3 tracks on the entire album. For fans this album may take some time to get use to, but they will warm up soon enough. Another outstanding album from the Trio.   


Rating: 8 out of 10

My favorite tracks:

Calling All Skeletons, In Vein, Lost and Rendered


Track List:

1.      Calling All Skeletons

2.      Help Me

3.      In Vein

4.      Over and Out

5.      I Found Away

6.      Do You Wanna Know

7.      Live Young, Die Fast

8.      Love Love, Kiss Kiss

9.      Lost and Rendered

10.  Ruin It

11.  Into the Night


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