EP Review: Alkaline Trio - E.P.
To the say the world is experiencing some truly crazy times is 100% accurate. However, because most of us are stuck at home right now, we also have more time to discover new music and bands are happy to deliver it – bands such as Alkaline Trio! The group’s co-headlining tour with Bad Religion was forced to be postponed until the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so they comforted their fans with a surprise release of a brand-new, 3-song EP. “Minds Like Minefields” gives us the only Matt Skiba fronted track and his songwriting shows as the catchy “whoa oh oh” that opens the song immediately perks your interest so much that you can’t help but to rewind it so you can sing along. The bounciness through the verses allows Skiba’s vocals to carry you over the darker toned layers of guitars before punching you with the fast-paced, melodic punk driven chorus. On the flipside, “Radio Violence” sees Dan Andriano taking over on the leads and he tugs you through a pop-punk song that’s very reminiscent of the group’s early material and the 100% definition of what Chicago’s pop-punk scene is known-for. “Smokestack,” the second of the three songs fronted by Dan, sees him pulling back and leaning into his acoustic side as he sings straight to those dealing with emotional challenges in their lives. From album to album, release to release, Alkaline Trio has continually tapped into what they do best, reinvented it in the slightest ways so to never go stale, and delivered powerful music that resonates with their audience. Their Chicago home base is a pop-punk mecca and Alkaline Trio has proudly carried that flag into the modern era for the past 2 ½ decade, and what this unplanned E.P shows us more than anything, is that while everything else right now feels so unpredictable, Alkaline Trio is the mainstay that will continue to carry that flag as we charge deeper into 2020.