It has been five years since Alkaline Trio released an album, and boy has a lot changed in that time. Today, the band is back with their ninth full-length LP, Is This Thing Cursed?
Recorded at The Lair in Culver City, California, and produced by Cameron Webb, the album features 13 songs covering 39 minutes. The trio consists of Matt Skiba on guitar and vocals, Dan Andriano on bass and vocals, and Derek Grant on drums and vocals. Dan shared a comment with New Noise regarding the songwriting process:
The songwriting process is almost like what it was back in the day. We would just kind of write a song, be excited about it, then move on. We wrote in that spirit in the studio. I really feel like we made a record that the old school fans are going to dig.
Busting onto the punk-rock scene in the late '90s from Chicago, the Alkaline Trio have crafted some of the most adrenalized music in the genre, resulting in countless comparisons with pop-punk torch-bearers like Green Day and Blink-182. Skiba is actually now an official member of Blink-182, filling in for Tom DeLonge since 2015 and making the California album with the band in 2016.
Is This Thing Cursed? delivers the excitement and honesty that has made the band so popular. The new album also shows the band maturing by trying new things sonically and lyrically. The songs don't shy away from expressing their thoughts about the current political situation, media, and depression. In a separate interview with Rolling Stone, Dan also shared what influenced the album's title:
It’s an idea that spurred in my head about being in the throes of depression. Being stuck in those moments, looking around and feeling like it doesn’t matter what you do or where you’re at, things don’t seem to be going right. And a lot of the times, we look for things to blame and we look for other things instead of looking inward.
Our favorite songs are "Is This Thing Cursed?," "Blackbird," "I Can't Believe," "Pale Blue Ribbon," and "Stay."
Pick up Is This Thing Cursed? on Amazon. The album is available on major streaming services, including Spotify below.
The band will set out on a North American in October. For concert tickets and more, check out the Alkaline Trio Zumic artist page.