After having been fairly disappointed by the last single from goth-punk’s Alkaline Trio, I was preparing myself for the worst with this next one. (The worst from them being that it was nothing special).
This was actually a nice surprise. ‘The Torture Doctor’ is still Alkaline Trio in their purest form, the macabre themes, the simplistic, catchy hooks. This is the band really pushing forwards though, the vocals becoming almost sinister, the melodies creeping into something much deeper. Its not what I was expecting, its much, much better.
It seems to be the thing at the moment for some slightly-forgotten bands to make their return with a new album. What’s that called – reunited album season? There’s many a band that I’d like to see come back from an indefinite (or even undeclared) hiatus, but I’m always a bit cynical when they do.
The first question to ask it, have they gone in a new direction? Is the band suddenly inspired to return, they’ve patched up their problems and want to start over (see Fall Out Boy, yesterday). Otherwise, there’s always that worry that the new return-to-form will actually just be another album in a line of many others, where the band has already established their sound and don’t really know where to go with it.
This seems to be the case with the new offering from Alkaline Trio. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve long been a fan of the band. It’s just something about the way new single ‘I Wanna Be A Warhol’ has me singing along unconsciously to the words of ‘Heart Stops Beating’ by +44. It’s not particularly bad. There’s nothing particularly good about it either though, which is disappointing coming from a band who’ve wowed me many times before.
This song takes me back a few years. Aside from a brief, ill-advised performance on Reading’s main stage at an unsuitably early time, Chicago’s Alkaline Trio have never disappointed me.
Known for catchy snippets of punk rock with their trademark dark lyrics, (this one starts with ‘I dragged this lake, looking for corpses’), ‘Private Eye’ is from the trio’s third album, ‘From Here To Infirmary’, released in 2001.
What are they up to now?
The band recorded their ninth album in October last year, due later this year. Frontman Matt Skiba has released two solo albums, ‘Demos’ and ‘Babylon’, recorded with The Sekrets, featuring My Chemical Romance drummer Jarrod Alexander and AFI bassiest Hunter Burgan.