Review: Alkaline Trio - Crimson
Chicago's Alkaline Trio seem to have stolen the visual imagery of Stiffs, Inc, best described as undertaker chic from the beginning of the last century. What started as a drinking and cursing band became a depression and hell-vision trio. As long as it sells the units, I always say.
Formed in 1997, Alkaline Trio were a punk-pop band for adults, if not then older kids. Where the stunted adolescents of Green Day and Blink-182 wrote to their maturity level and fan base of 15, bands like Samiam, 22 Jacks and Alkaline Trio put childish things aside and provided hard and fast chord changes over powerful drumming and big-kid subject matters.
Crimson is more heavily produced and orchestrated than their earlier work, which at first is bad because there's a simple directness to the old stuff, but at this stage it's a smart move to widen their sound and fan base. Electronically treating the singer's voice to give a hint of harmony is to me the biggest change. They can write catchy melodies in their sleep and for their genre they're probably way, way up there. I enjoyed this branch of punk pop for a while and then left it for its components of full blown emo (Sense Field, Promise Ring) and 3-chord Ramones mania (Lillingtons, Riverdales).
The opening track, "Time To Waste", betrays a whiff of Duran Duran's "Girls On Film". The closing track sounds like the Psychedelic Fur's "Sleep Comes Down". My favorite song on the cd is "Back To Hell". Will I ever put this on again? Probably not, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it.