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Album Review: Alkaline Trio - Damnesia

The great majority of Alkaline Trio fans, such is their love for the band, will find it hard to be objective about 'Damnesia'. There will be those, of course, for whom the whole concept of an album of stripped back, re-worked versions of some of the band's most well-loved songs will seem rather unnecessary, it is arguably something of an indulgence.

The results are variable but some of these new arrangements put charming new spins on already superb songs. 'Every Thug Needs A Lady' in particular, with it's hoe-down chorus vibe, is effortlessly charming while 'American Scream' is given a synth and piano treatment and, in the process, a new lease of life.

More straightforward acoustic re-workings of songs such as 'Mercy Me' and 'We've Had Enough' add little new yet, in keeping the essence of the superb originals, hardly detract from the experience. Surprisingly, and a little disappointingly, final song 'Radio' falls a little flat, but it is in the minority.

In the end, the quality of the songs on 'Damnesia' shines through. It isn't the ideal starting point for people who want to experience the true essence of the band, as these stripped back arrangements often lack the raw grit and desperation that characterizes their usual output; that said, the record may well appeal to people whose playlists Alkaline Trio might not usually grace.

Most importantly, however, for fans of the band, 'Damnesia' is a worthy addition to the discography that, whilst not a classic, provides some excellent re-imaginings of songs already much loved.


Nick Worpole

Alter The Press!