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Album Review: Alkaline Trio – My Shame Is True

Artist: Alkaline Trio
Album: My Shame is True
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Tracks: 12

On the 2nd of April; Alkaline Trio are set to release their 9th studio album My Shame is True, the first album of original content since This Addiction in 2010. Of course we can’t forget Damnesia in 2011, the album consisting of acoustic re-workings of previously released songs, but the new album is something Alkaline Trio fans have been waiting for years, the Skiba/Andriano song-writing duo back together again.

Alkaline Trio are showing a new side this time around, featuring other artists, something that they don’t often do with the exception of Chris Wollard from Hot Water Music. Featured artists include Brendan Kelly from The Lawrence Arms on the first single I Wanna Be a Warhol and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath on I, Pessimist.

The trio is also releasing their EP Broken Wing on the same day as the album, and if you’re a dedicated fan and willing to pay the extra, you can get a copy of My Shame is True which includes the four track EP as part of a deluxe set-up. Unfortunately, as seems to be a regular occurrence with artists that are signed to major labels, Alkaline Trio’s album has been leaked through Epitaph’s YouTube channel, which you can hear here, however, this is not the case for Broken Wing.

This is the track-listing for the new album:

My Shame is True:                                                  

1. She Lied to the FBI                                                  
2. I Wanna Be a Warhol (Ft. Brendan Kelly)    
3. I’m Only Here to Disappoint                                 
4. Kiss You To Death                                                    
5. The Temptation Of St. Anthony
6. I, Pessimist (Ft. Tim McIlrath)
7. Only Love
8. The Torture Doctor
9. Midnight Blue
10. One Last Dance
11. Young Lovers
12. Until Death Do Us Part

So, what does the album sound like?

Despite Alkaline Trio trying new tricks with featured artists, it could be said that My Shame is True is a greatest hits of new material, with every song with a counterpart, straight from Alkaline Trio’s back catalogue but with brand new lyrics. Therefore the record offers what you could expect from the trio; catchy choruses, melancholic lyrical themes with the trademark palm-muted power chords. The songs that sound most like they’ve been done before are really Until Death Do Us Part which could be compared to the circa 2000 Radio, and She Lied to the FBI, or even I’m Only Here To Disappoint, which unfortunately just sounds like a run-of-the-mill Andriano song, which I feel only lets the album down.

In terms of positives and negatives, the album has a handful of both. The obvious positives are that Skiba’s songs sound truly original and he presents them in a darker and more aggressive vocal style. It’s well-known that Skiba has had trouble with his voice and throat over the years and consequently every album Alkaline Trio has ever released has featured Matt sounding different every time, but on My Shame is True it seems that he has found a style that suits the album perfectly. The best song to listen to, to hear what I mean is I Wanna Be A Warhol, arguably the darkest and most captivating song on the album.

Unfortunately, some negatives include the fact that Alkaline Trio don’t seem to have developed very far over the years, sure enough they never release an album that is similar to another, but the differences don’t seem to ever be more than a stones throw from comparison. Furthermore, it seems like Dan Andriano’s songs have become more and more repetitive, focussing on the typical  “failed relationship that he had sometime in the distant past”, and as much as I am a fan of Alkaline Trio, I find it hard to look at Andriano’s songs and find any more than two songs which really stirred me. Perhaps playing as a solo artist in Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room has taken away some of the fire that he once had when he wrote some of his better songs, namely: Emma, Every Thug Needs a Lady et cetera.

You can give the new album on their YouTube section on Epitaph.



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