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Alkaline Trio- Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs LP (Black & Bone Bowtie Vinyl)

Alkaline Trio- Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs LP (Black & Bone Bowtie Vinyl)
Alkaline Trio- Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs LP (Black & Bone Bowtie Vinyl)
Band/Title: Alkaline Trio
Label: Rise
You can earn 27 AYP PUNK ROCK POINTS on this product!
Price: $26.99
Product Details
New album produced by Bill Stevenson of All, Descendents, Black Flag- Guest appearance from Tim of Rise Against! 

  • - Disc 1 -
  • 1 Hot for Preacher
  • 2 Meet Me
  • 3 Versions of You
  • 4 Bad Time
  • 5 Scars
  • 6 Break
  • - Disc 2 -
  • 1 Shake with Me
  • 2 Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs
  • 3 Hinterlude
  • 4 Broken Down in a Time Machine
  • 5 Teenage Heart

There’s a massive black 'X' on the cover of Alkaline Trio’s pulsating 10th album. On one level, it’s an acknowledgement of the Chicagoan legends’ discography making it to double-digits just over a quarter-century into their career. On another, it’s a tribute to the adults-only rating emblazoned on the posters of all their favourite old movies. Beyond that, mind, it could be the X that makes the sweet spot between the mosh-pit and the morgue, where their music is at its faintly macabre best.

When the ’Trio merged from the Midwestern underground onto the world stage around the turn of the Millennium, see, they felt like a genuine pop-punk alternative. Here was an outfit with all the hooks of contemporaries like blink-182 or Sum 41, but where those bands fed off the boredom of suburbia, this one lived in the grit and grime of city street-corners. Where other acts talked shit about pining after your teenage crush, they sang about stuffing them into the trunk of a car.

Over the years, it seemed their razorblade ruthlessness had dulled. Bloodlust had started to subside. Perhaps their very alkalinity had begun to neutralise. Seeing frontman Matt Skiba largely defect to old rival blink for the best part of a decade certainly didn’t help. But as soon as BH&E’s dynamite opening salvo – Hot For Preacher and Meet Me – hits your ears, it’s apparent that his recent letting-go by the So-Cal giants has stirred something in his songwriting too-long dormant.

Ignore the anodyne song-titles like Versions Of You, Bad Time and Scars. Sonically, we’re right back into the gravel of early-2000s classic From Here To Infirmary and Good Mourning. Guitars slice, grate and gouge like murder weapons. Matt and Dan Andriano’s vocals are loaded with more wry, world-weary bittersweetness than they have been in years.

Rather than the twisted heartbreak, serial killers and murder-cults of old, these songs double-down on the everyday horror of growing old in a world going to shit. With its stabbing six-strings and tolling bells, talk of werewolves, Frankenstein and screaming maniacs, mid-album highlight Break has the aesthetic of a vintage Alkaline Trio track, but it’s rooted in the broader Apocalypse Times we’re living through – and all the more savage for it. Shake With Me deals in the terror of long love falling apart. Broken Down In A Time Machine veers into brilliantly offbeat melodrama, reckoning on the dangers of getting tied up in trying to capture past glories long gone.

Daring to drop curtain with Teenage Heart, though – a song loaded with mischievous nostalgia and real longing, dark humour and faint hope – there’s no doubt that Alkaline Trio still have plenty of good years ahead of them. Older, wiser and bearing the weight of legacy, these mightn’t be the angry young ghouls we used to know, but they’ve kept hold of their old duffel-bag of sharp implements, and they still know how to use them.

Verdict: 4/5 (Kerrang! Review)

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