Agony & Irony
Released: Jul 2008
Agony, yes. Irony? Perhaps that came in Alkaline Trio's snippet of reality TV fame, which caught them recording "In Vein" on MTV's The Hills. Rolling with the "cool kids" may have lost them some punk cred, but these grown-up boys still battle with unrequited love and woes like all the rest of us. Frontman Matt Skiba sings like he's got a permanent sneer, evoking Billie Joe Armstrong and admitting "I don't want to let go of my rage/ Because it's the salt that brings the taste." Peaks of upbeat pop supplement their ire via bouncy hooks, stunted riffs and flippant "blah blah blahs."