Artist: Alkaline Trio
The idea of redoing something people already praise as terrific may seem foolish to some, but not Alkaline Trio. Much like Bon Jovi did with This Left Feels Right, Trio are about to release their own collection of new-old songs entitled Damnesia. Is it worth your money, especially considering most fans already own nearly every song on the record? The answer is a loud and undeniable yes.
Alkaline Trio has never been my favorite band, in fact, I was a little late to the party. While my friends were digging their teeth into From Here To Infirmary, i was else in the musical universe and didn’t actually stumble upon Trio until “This Could Be Love.” That said, the real joy of Damnesia is that it doesn’t matter how much you love the band’s other work because this is the only release you need. Covering their entire career, Damnesia is a greatest hits for people who are tired of hearing the greatest hits in their original form OR those unfamiliar with the band who are put off by their generally punk-centric sound.
Don’t get me wrong, there is more to this release than covering the songs you know well. What Trio manage to do that Jovi’s similar effort couldn’t is making the old material feel new once again. Whether it is “Calling All Skeletons” or “Clavicle,” every song feels like the song was written in the moments before someone decided to hit “record.”
What Damnesia teaches us is once you strip away the noise from Alk Trio, all that is left is some of the most heart-wrenching odes to life, love, friendship, and loss that has been written and/or recorded in the last half century. The chemistry between Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano, and Derek Grant has never been more palpable and I sincerely doubt anyone’s ability to say otherwise.
Buy this and discover the perfect soundtrack for times alone and late-night drunken sing-a-longs with your closest friends. Whether your just discovering Alkaline Trio or looking for a new take on familiar material, Damnesia deserves a permanent place in your record collection.
Review written by: James Shotwell