Mourning’ shows Trio at its best
Good Mourning 2003 picks up right where Alkaline Trio’s 2001 From Here to Infirmary left off, proving pop punk can be dark, deep and engaging.
Fans were quick to question the record because of the "off" vocals of guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba, the polished sound of producer Jerry Finn and the lack of consistency between Skiba’s dark punk and bassist/co-vocalist Dan Andriano’s charming pop. These were the same fans that bashed the group for signing to larger indie-label Vagrant (after being on the smaller indie imprint Asian Man Records), as well as touring with larger pop-punk acts such as Blink-182 and New Found Glory.
Because of the Trio’s usual somber aesthetic, Good Mourning is an unlikely choice for an essential summer album. The songs sound like poetry spilling from a speaker, penned by two of the scene’s best lyricists in Skiba and Andriano.
Andriano’s romantic side shines through on tracks "One Hundred Stories," "Blue Carolina" and "Every Thug Needs a Lady." Songs "All on Black," "This Could be Love" and "Continental" are vintage, brooding Skiba at his best.
"Emma" tells the tale of a young girl in distress, written by Skiba but sung by Andriano. "A poinsettia in poison rain / Traded true love for insult and injury / We washed it down the drain with one wooden stake to the heart, and two Vicodin," Andriano sings over one of his patented rolling bass lines to accompany Skiba’s three-chords of Ramones-esque guitar strumming and drummer Derek Grant’s precise percussion.
Videos on MTV2, the anti-radio single "We’ve Had Enough" and late-night appearances with David Letterman and Conan O’Brien added a little more mainstream success than the group reached with Crimson in 2005, the band’s most ambitious album yet, garnering them critical acclaim and three commercially viable singles.
Alkaline Trio deserves the attention and adoration that bands with less talent, such as My Chemical Romance, receive from the mainstream, and with its major label debut slated for July 1, this could be another summer where Alkaline Trio sizzles.