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REVIEW / Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed?

‘Blackbird’ was one of the first tracks to be released off of ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’ and completely sets the tone for the rest of the album, with dark a heavy guitar and a haunting ring to it.
posted 11 September 2018 12:03pm updated 11 September 2018 14:03pm
AT the end of August 2018, Alkaline Trio released their 9th studio album ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’, the first they’ve released in over 5 years. With the future of the band looking uncertain after frontman Matt Skiba replacing Tom Delonge in Blink 182, the album received much anticipation. Having been 5 years since Alkaline Trio had last released an album, it’s clear that recent experiences have helped to mould ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’ but it’s even clearer that the band are glad to be playing together again.

The opening track is the title track and this displays many of the different paths that Alkaline Trio have previously taken, and is paired with slow piano and hypnotic melodies before bursting into life.

‘Blackbird’ was one of the first tracks to be released off of ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’ and completely sets the tone for the rest of the album, with dark a heavy guitar and a haunting ring to it. The track is punk at its best, catchy within its breezy melodies and certain to be an anthem at live shows.

‘Demon and Division’ offers the first real glimpse of Alkaline Trio’s 2018 sound, and features a catchy, hypnotic bass with a subtle keyboard, and a huge chorus.

‘Stay’ is extremely beautiful and different to the other tracks on the album, a very modern love song with a twist. The tracks are written about not being able to resist a significant other even in the rougher, harder times.


‘Sweet Vampires’ is a high point for the album and sees the band go back to their roots of dark, melancholy lyrics which make them stand out. This track is still a rock song, yet toned down slightly so it does not drown out the lyrics.

‘Is This Thing Cursed?’s’ closer, ‘Krystalline’ is a flawless ballad, with powerful lyrics that may resonate within fans. ‘Krystalline’ is an acoustic number which is a perfect closer to the album.

Throughout ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’ Alkaline Trio take parts of previous efforts and inject them into each track and then fill them with heaps of passion. This album shows that the band are continuing to evolve whilst retaining the dark lyrics that captivated their audience. ‘Is This Thing Cursed?’ is welcomed with open arms by long-term fans.