Alkaline Trio is an American punk rock band from McHenry, Illinois. Formed in 1996 by then bike messenger Matt Skibba and Glenn Porter. A couple of lineup changes early on in the bands career with Skibba being the only original member from the bands formation remaining.
Alkaline Trio for me began back in 1999 when I heard “Nose Over Tail” on an online radio station, I thought it was fantastic! It was unlike other so called punk music that was taking over at the time. It was loud and in your face, frantic with a hardcore punk aesthetic. I obtained the song and I only had that 1 song until I next heard from the Band. I was too preoccupied with other bands at the time to have room for anymore.
Next time I heard from them was on MTV in the form of “Stupid Kid” in 2001, then followed “Private Eye”. This put a face to the band and I was drawn in. I immediately went out and bought the CD and listened to it till I wore it out. After wearing it out and not wanting to listen to it anymore I started digging to see if the band had anymore music and was I in for a treat!
While there’s a good chance many people out there would come up with a list 60-70% similar to mine there’s little chance it could be identical. If you see an identical list that isn’t giving credit back to this site let me know! There’s no copy/pasting of other people’s lists here! I create these from my own years worth of experience of listening to these bands. In the case of Alkaline trio that is 20 years.
Alkaline Trio Albums
Rating: (4.1 / 5)
Key songs: Cringe, Nose Over Tail
Confession.. The acoustic Matt does “Sorry about that”, I actually once sent a girl that knowing I would likely never be rumbled and claimed it was me! I know, shocking right! I wonder what Matt would think about it. I am ashamed of my behaviour but at the same time it’s quite funny that I actually pulled it off.
The 1st Alkaline Trio song I ever heard was “Nose Over Tail” and strangely enough it’s always been near the top of my favourites list. Make sure to check out “Clavicle”, “My Little Needle” & “Trouble Breathing”.
Maybe I’ll Catch Fire (2000)
Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Key songs: Madam Me, Radio
This was the last to feature founding member & drummer Glenn Porter. Glenn Porters ex-girlfriend was responsible for designing the now infamous Heart/Skull Alkaline Trio symbol.
Definitely up there in my top 3 Trio albums. Be sure to check out the title track “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire” as well as “You’ve Got So Far To Go”.
From Here To Infirmary (2001)
Rating: (3.9 / 5)
Key songs: Stupid Kid, Mr. Chainsaw
It has a special place in that it was the Album that finally got me into them but upon hearing their earlier albums I was surprised by how much better I thought those were.
This is a more polished sound & I really liked the rawness of their earlier music.
This was the 1st Alkaline Trio album I bought and the 1st one I listened to by the band back in 2001. Be sure to check out “Private Eye”, “Armageddon” & “Bloodied Up”.
Good Mourning (2003)
Rating: (4.1 / 5)
Key songs: All on Black, Emma, Blue in the Face
Check out “Continental” & “Fatally Yours” and the 2 bonus tracks “Dead end Road” & “Old School Reasons”. The 2 bonus tracks really tip the scales on this album as they provide something for those hankering after their earlier sound.
Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Key songs: Dethbed, Fall Victim
So while this album does appeal to a wider audience it’s somewhat life or death for those who cling onto their earlier music and many of the earlier fans had dropped off by this point. On this album also be sure to check out “Mercy Me”.
Agony & Irony (2008)
Rating: (3 / 5)
Key songs: Lost and Rendered, I Found Away
This Addiction (2010)
Rating: (3.8 / 5)
Key songs: Lead Poisoning, Dorothy
This album believe it or not is their highest-charting album, even topping a few of the specific billboard genre charts such as Alternative Rock & Rock Albums.
If anything I’d put this alongside Good Mourning. Be sure to check out “The American Scream” as well on this one.
My Shame Is True (2013)
Rating: (3.9 / 5)
Key songs: The Temptation of St. Anthony, One Last Dance, I, Pessimist
The song “The Temptation of St. Anthony” is about the most straight up rocking thing we’ve seen from the band in several years. While the song “One last Dance” is about the closest I’ve felt to their Queen of Pain era in years.
Is This Thing Cursed? (2018)
Rating: (4.1 / 5)
Key songs: I Can’t Believe, Blackbird
Having heard the album I can’t say I agree & would place this in terms of sound between Agony & Irony & Crimson despite it being a heavier album. While there’s a good dose of originality here a lot of it feels nostalgic. You get the what you would consider a typical trio album spread of song styles here. Dan sings lead on 5 songs, Matt the other 8.
For example the final chord of “I Can’t Believe” is a shout back to very early Alkaline Trio, it’s almost like it was put in there to tease us! The Chorus of “Blackbird” sounds like Skibba has been spending too much time around Mark Hoppus while the verses remind me of Sonic Youth’s “Stereo Sanctity“. Elsewhere “Sweet Vampires” has a familiarity about it that is reminiscent of “Hell Yes” & “I Found Away” & “Goodbye Fire Island” sees Matt doing backing vocals for himself.
My 2 picks from the album are below.
So that’s it for the best Alkaline Trio song picks? What about all their other good songs?! Songs which aren’t on their full lengths, B-Sides etc? I was aware of this problem before I started creating this and decided that it needed to be a separate list for the sake of keeping things orderly and uncomplicated. If you want to read more about the history of the band look here Wikipedia Article.
Part 2 containing those extra songs is here Part 2, EPs, B-Sides, Splits etc
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