Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

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Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Jason_scorching_past » 12th Dec 11, 01:13

Can anyone point me in the direction of what they consider to be the best albums by this band? I have only just discovered their music and I like a lot of what I have heard but do they have a single killer album?

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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Mattie » 12th Dec 11, 02:17

I can only speak from my experience, though I'm not sure how much use any of this will be!

First got into them in about 2001 with the album "From Here To Infirmary" after hearing the song Mr Chainsaw on a Rock Sound compilation, so that album will always be somewhat special to me.

It was the start of them sounding more commercial though I guess. The albums before that were more raw, less produced, but the long(est) term fans would probably say they're the best (but then people liked to call sellout back in those days as soon as anyone put out something with more polished and refined songs)

It's only in the last couple of years I've started to appreciate the older stuff.

To be honest though I've really liked every album they've made since FHTI through Agony & Irony.. though a lot of people seemed not too keen on A&I, I'm not entirely sure why. It contains some of my favourite A3 songs. It's best to seek out the 2 CD version (bonus CD with acoustic tracks and a cover) if you can, if only for the acoustic rendition of one of their oldest songs "Maybe I'll Catch Fire". If unavailable I'd happily upload the 2nd disc for you though.

Between those albums you have Good Mourning - possibly the pinnacle of their polished/produced albums, followed by Crimson which experimented with some electronic additions but again, had a number of excellent tracks.

Some time around here Matt Skiba put out an album under the name Heavens - it was a calm album, largely electronic songs with Matt's vocals, a nice change of pace

This Addiction (their last proper album) had a decent amount of good tracks but I didn't think it was great overall... though with the Deluxe edition you get a few more tracks that really should have been on the album IMO, plus some acoustic... it increases the number of Dan Songs for a start...

On that subject... on their albums you have Matt (Skiba) songs and Dan (Andriano) songs - though the Matt Songs outnumber the Dan songs by quite a lot. Over the years though I've increasingly found that the Dan songs have been my album highlights

Which leads me to the Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room album "Hurricane Season" - you really should get that as well.

They also released Damnesia this last year, which was acoustic re-imaginings of their older songs... but to me they seemed slightly pointless, none of them carried the same weight as earlier acoustic recordings on bonus CDs


God, it looks like an impossible decision - EVERY Alkaline Trio album has a large number of good tracks on it, but they pretty much all have some that don't quite grab hold in the same way. Told you it wouldn't be much help in deciding!

OK then well... I will say
You can't go wrong buying any one of... From Here To Infirmary, Good Mourning, Crimson, Agony&Irony.. but everything else is at least good too!
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Jason_scorching_past » 12th Dec 11, 18:52

Thanks Mattie for the comprehensive answer. I did think it sounded like there were a lot of good songs across all the albums, I have decided to start with Agony and Irony it seemed to rock a bit more whilst still being catchy than some of the others but I will probably purchase Good Mourning after that.

Thanks for all the info, I'll look forward to discovering more from other albums as I go, now I know a bit more about what to expect, nice one.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby WorldClassFad » 13th Dec 11, 12:51

For my money I would definitely start with:

1. Good Mourning
2. From Here To Infirmary
3. This Addiction

Then maybe proceed to check out their older stuff. I think the reason why a lot of fans aren't too enamoured with either Crimson or Agony & Irony is that, due to the amount of keyboards/general experimentation present, they're a bit of a departure from the bands 'normal' sound.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby markE » 14th Dec 11, 12:35

i too am a recent convert to Alkaline Trio, but they are quickly becoming one of favourite bands. I love Agony and Irony but the other guys are spot on - there are fantastic tracks across all the albums. if you go on grooveshark or similar you can listen to them all before you buy. also i think some of the cds have versions that come with dvd documentaries that might be worth you checking out. good call on Hurricane Season as well if you like mellow stuff.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby benwalton » 14th Dec 11, 23:52

I'm the total opposite to you Mattie, I find Matt's songs just piss all over Dan's, and I don't think Dan is that strong a singer, but each to their own eh? But I am with you on Damnesia.
Saw them live on the A&I tour, they seemed really bored on stage and like they needed a break, but they played some proper obscure stuff like Jaked on Green Beers and Warbrain (I think...)

I'd say you can't really go wrong with A3, even Remains - their b-sides collection - has some ace stuff on it. There is another compilation around called The Alkaline Trio which has some of their awesome early singles on it like I Lied My Face Off. In order I'd go...

1.Good Mourning
2. Goddammit (Redux version is a must)
3. Crimson
4. From Here to Infirmary
5. This Addiction
6. Agony and Irony
7. Maybe I'll Catch Fire

But all of them have some totally ace moments on them.
and just last week as i was clearing shit from off my shelf...
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Mattie » 15th Dec 11, 04:28

benwalton wrote:Iand I don't think Dan is that strong a singer, but each to their own eh?


Yep - Can't say I was judging it on who's the more 'gifted' singer as such, but for example "Do You Wanna Know?'" from A&I, and "Fine" from This Addiction perfectly fit my taste in vocals styling and songwriting (at the moment) as well as "This Light" (amongst others) from the solo album - there's just something about the style that appeals to me, regardless of whether they're technically sung 'worse' or not.

I just think he's come into his own in the last few years, culminating in a solo album that's just about as strong as any Alkaline Trio album - that is to say I don't listen to it thinking "I wish Matt Skiba added some vocals to this song" - but none of that's not meant as a reflection on Matt's vocals.

Of course there are songs written by Matt where they've decided Dan's vocals work better for the song (don't know about the other way round), can't say I know which ones are which tbh. Regardless, both their voices work well together as well so you can't lose when they're sharing.

Anyway... somehow, over the years, I've still never seen Alkaline Trio live
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby kriscoverdale » 17th Dec 11, 00:40

I'd add a vote for Good Mourning too - especially like the opener This Could Be Love, which I first heard on XFM whilst waiting for 'So Into You' (by a familiar band around here) to get its first play.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Jason_scorching_past » 17th Dec 11, 15:04

Thanks, looks like I will probably end up getting a few as there seem to be quite a lot of decent albums from this band. I've heard Time to Waste before on a film soundtrack I think. Got Agony and Irony and Good Mourning coming in the post..

Cheers for all the input fellas.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby spoon_of_grimbo » 9th Feb 12, 04:08

I love everything this band have done, but "From Here to Infirmary" is definitely their best.

That said, the three tracks on their split with Hot Water Music are the best songs they've ever recorded.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Zoloft » 9th Feb 12, 11:33

Have to agree with Infirmary, one of my all time favorite punk records.
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Mattie » 12th Mar 12, 16:37

I should probably use this thread to mention the upcoming solo album from Matt Skiba (& The Sekrets)

First song from it here:
http://www.spinner.com/2012/03/09/matt- ... fall-down/

Sounds very promising to me
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Re: Alkaline Trio, best album(s)?

Postby Jason_scorching_past » 19th Mar 12, 00:13

Just got hold of From Here To Infirmary. Really liked Help Me and Calling all Skeletons from Agony and Irony.
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