Alkaline Trio have a sound and stick to it, a kind of organic punk that’s melodic and riffy, lacking the sharpness of bands like Blink 182 but rolling along pleasantly. They’re one of those bands that developed a devoted fanbase and saw no reason to change their sound.
The band has been doing other stuff the last few years — notably Matt Skiba singing with Blink — and it’s given them some perspective, as this is a looser and more fun album than previous ones.
The album opens with the title track, Skiba sounding curiously like Colin Hay of Men At Work fame for a catchy tune, with track two Blackbird more like classic Trio, as is the later Goodbye Fire Island.
I Can’t Believe is also classic Trio, but Trio by numbers, with Sweet Vampires’ intro echoing Blink’s Small Things, Skiba letting his other job into his writing.
There is some filler but nothing weak and the album closes strongly. It’s a solid album; fans will probably like it anyway but Skiba’s outings with Blink may bring them in some fans.