15 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Damnesia dips back into Alkaline Trio’s 15-year output for most of its selections, reconsidering familiar material with an often-inspired touch. In the past, the punk-pop combo has traded in a jittery, melodically brisk sound that uses bursts of abrasion to keep its emotional pleadings from sounding like mere complaints. Here, they rework such aggressive material as “Every Thug Needs a Lady” and “Private Eye” as acoustic-driven numbers, retaining much of their bite while bringing out their inherent bittersweet charm. Singer/guitarist Mike Skiba finds new ways to tap into the conflicted emotions within his songs, supported by Derek Grant’s protean drum work and Dan Andriano’s agile bass. The three of them bring a sense of maturity to early Alkaline tunes like “Clavicle” and “Radio,” adding layers of meaning beyond the venom and angst embedded in the original versions. Adding to Damnesia’s impact is a pair of vigorous new tunes (“Olde English 800,””I Remember a Rooftop”), along with a galvanizing, country-tinged cover of the Violent Femmes’ “I Held Her In My Arms.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Damnesia dips back into Alkaline Trio’s 15-year output for most of its selections, reconsidering familiar material with an often-inspired touch. In the past, the punk-pop combo has traded in a jittery, melodically brisk sound that uses bursts of abrasion to keep its emotional pleadings from sounding like mere complaints. Here, they rework such aggressive material as “Every Thug Needs a Lady” and “Private Eye” as acoustic-driven numbers, retaining much of their bite while bringing out their inherent bittersweet charm. Singer/guitarist Mike Skiba finds new ways to tap into the conflicted emotions within his songs, supported by Derek Grant’s protean drum work and Dan Andriano’s agile bass. The three of them bring a sense of maturity to early Alkaline tunes like “Clavicle” and “Radio,” adding layers of meaning beyond the venom and angst embedded in the original versions. Adding to Damnesia’s impact is a pair of vigorous new tunes (“Olde English 800,””I Remember a Rooftop”), along with a galvanizing, country-tinged cover of the Violent Femmes’ “I Held Her In My Arms.”

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