They’ve done it again. It’s been almost two years since their last full-length album Goddamnit, but this Chicago trio has put together another 10 tracks of pop punk. As fans have come to expect of Alkaline Trio, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire is loaded with tormented, antagonistic and alcohol-soaked themes.
Writing this review has been difficult to say the least. When I asked to review Alkaline Trio I expected something with a little bit fiercer edge to it. Maybe I’ll Catch Fire has an edge to it, but I’m sorry to say it’s a dull edge. Alkaline Trio goes much darker and moodier than you would expect from most punk bands. Unfortunately, the album lacks the energy consistent with their genre.
What sets Alkaline Trio apart from their peers is the emotional drive their songs are infused with. Listening to Alkaline Trio’s music, you feels as if you’re in the backseat on this bad trip to Hell with Matt Skiba (guitar), Dan Adriano (bass), and Glenn Porter (drums). Strangely enough, the experience isn’t loud and obnoxious like most punk bands would have you believe, but rather disturbingly quiet and heavy.
Although Maybe I’ll Catch Fire is laden with obscenities, you don’t really get the impression the profanity is merely used for shock value, but instead to put more power behind the punch of the lyrics. The lyrics are not particularly deep either, but they provide an impressive imagery for predictably banal topics that are impressive in their own right; regrettably, the music just doesn’t support the weight of the words.
Just about any one of the tracks from Maybe I’ll Catch Fire would have been a perfect fit for my college-days radio program “Music To Kill Yourself By”. I could offer the CD to my old listeners, but I don’t think the edge is sharp enough.