‘Is This Thing Cursed’, the latest product of Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant is a mammoth 13-track album which and injects something fresh to their discography, something that’s been missing for a few years now.
The opening title track sets the tone for the rest of the album, in an early 2000’s style pop punk, powerful riffs, and big choruses. It’s not the heaviest of songs, so maybe not the most powerful song to open with, but a solid track nonetheless. Lead single, ‘Blackbird’ follows with a slightly darker tone, but is again contrasted with the more poppy ‘Demons and Division’.
Most of the album is more ‘pop’ than we’ve heard from them before, but it compliments their style beautifully, and doesn’t take away from how punk they are, and always have been. The band have done well to vary their sound enough to be interesting like in ‘Little Help‘, but still maintain their own style and an edge, so older fans can still get on board with it, like with ‘Throw Me To The Lions‘. That isn’t to say that the whole album is hard and fast pop-punk, songs like and ‘Kristalline‘ will have you welling up with it’s strong and raw vocals, honest lyrics, and pure passion – a perfect end to a well-put-together album.