Reviewed by Meghan Player
To say the anticipation building up to this album was immense, would be a slight understatement. Having spent a large part of my teenage years wallowing in the sweet pop punk sounds of Alkaline Trio, I was eager to see what the band would deliver on their ninth studio album, ‘My Shame Is True‘.
As the opening bars of ‘She Lied To The FBI‘ ring out through my speakers, I felt my heart slightly drop a little. Yes, the simple pop punk melody that I grew up loving was there. Yes, Matt Skiba‘s vocals were still as smooth at the day I heard them. But, I couldn’t help but feel something was missing.
First single, [and indeed most fans first taste of the new album] ‘I Wanna Be A Warhol’ ultimately follows it’s predecessors suit – opting for the tried and true melody of the bands past, with a eclectic mix of blended rock synths.
It’s by the time ‘I’m Only Here To Disappoint‘ and ‘Kiss You To Death‘ roll around, that I start to get a little worried. Where had all the in-your-face, yet entirely upbeat stylings of the 2005 Alkaline Trio gone? Am I becoming completely out of touch?
As if hearing my youth declining, the album switches gears, turns it up to eleven and doesn’t quit until the final bars on the last track are still ringing in your mind.
‘I, Pessimist‘ is a breath of fresh air, incorporating the Alkaline Trio of old with a taste of the new – while following tracks ‘Only Love‘, ‘Torture Doctor‘ and ‘Midnight Blue’ roll out with a 1-2-3 punch. This is the Alkaline Trio I remember. Unfortunately, it seems to end a little too quickly.
Undoubtedly, My Shame Is True is going to be a hit and miss with fans and music lovers alike. While there is a steady stream of killer pop punk riffs and melodies on display, it sadly doesn’t satisfy the anticipation I built up before hearing it. There is no denying the early 00’s influence of the band, the message they sent and the generation they inspired – but in the new age of dub step and digital downloads, it feels like this album might fly under the radar.
But, who knows? Maybe I’m just getting old.