By Trevor Morelli
Ever have one of those days where you’re late for work, spill coffee all over your desk and forget to pick up milk on the way home, making you shake your fists at life itself and ask, “Is this thing cursed?!” Chicago’s Alkaline Trio feels your pain. Ditching the goth subtleties of the past, the band’s ninth studio album delivers another batch of tight, catchy and straightforward distorted rock tunes. At times, the record thrashes and whips with the best of ‘em, especially in songs like “Blackbird,” “Heart Attacks,” and “Throw Me to the Lions.” Alkaline Trio proves they’re capable of more than they’re given credit for among pop-punk colleagues like Green Day, NOFX or lead singer Matt Skiba’s most recent side hustle, Blink-182.
To be fair, not everything on the disc stands out. A few of its 13 tracks are either clearly too short or too generic to have much of an impact (or sometimes both). Is This Thing Cursed? isn’t the home run of the summer, but at least it will help you get through that ridiculous Friday evening jam on Deerfoot Trail — again!Alkaline Trio, Epitaph, Is This Thing Cursed?, Record Review