Perennial underachievers once again fall short of the mark
Spare a thought for Alkaline Trio. Whenever My Chemical Romance became the band of choice for the mini-moshers, AT’s frontman Matt Skiba must have cursed Gerard Way and the horse he rode in on. Undeterred, the trio kept their heads down and continued to peddle out the coffin-rock anthems. Agony & Irony (which features production from Linkin Park and Velvet Revolver’s knob-twiddler Josh Abraham) is their umpteenth stab at mainstream acceptance. Sadly, as per usual, it still falls a little short of the mark. ‘Calling All Skeletons,’ which comes complete with handclaps, is as good as anything they’ve ever done, but filler like ‘Lost And Rendered’ and ‘Live Young Die Fast’ let the side down a bagful. Agony & Irony is a good album, full of gallows humour and dark twisted melodies; it just won’t see the band elevated to the heights that they oh so obviously crave.
Key Track: ‘Calling All Skeletons’