For some reason I've hardly ever paid any attention to these guys before. I've heard some of their songs, but they never made any considerable impression on me. However, when listening to this record my prejudices disappeared pretty fast. The main thing that caught my attention was the brilliant lyrics. They are written very poetical and in severeal songs nicely mixed with discreet humour. The songs are not the fastest you'll find on the market, actually this album is pretty slow, but the speed ain't always the shit. You'll realize that this album has other qualities, like great and catchy melodies and fantastic lyrics. Two very important points to make music good.
The album starts off with a great track, "This Could Be Love", with a pretty mindsticking melody and hillarious lyrics where the chorus goes 'Step one: slit my throat, step two: play in my blood, step three cover me in dirty sheets and run laughing out of the house'. There's this humorous touch all over it, and I love the way these guys write their stuff. Second song, "We've Had Enough", is the best one on this album with a little darker and more powerful sound. The chorus is brilliant and makes me sing along every time I hear it. Although this album is a slow one there's a couple of faster tracks, "Fatally Yours" and "Donner Party (All Night)", that gives the record an upswing. Especially the latter one gets stuck in my head with its swingin' sound. Other very remarkable songs are tracks number 3, 6, 8 and 9. There's actually not a single really weak track, only a couple of less entertaining ones. Last track, "Blue In The Face" is an acoustic, very slow song, which has a nice melody but I think the singer has a way too hoarse voice here. I know it's part of Alkaline Trio's sound, but here it's just too remakable i think.
Since I haven't listened to Alkaline Trio's previous releases I can't compare this one to that stuff, but I can tell you this: these guys knows how to write great thought-out lyrics and make catchy and melodic music. That's pretty much enough for me to give this one a good rating. Now this is a solid record, and if you like emo with a little more power than usual you should really check this out. I myself ain't generally a fan of the emoscene, but this stuff is a little beyont that I think. It's not typical, whiny emo-stuff with pointless lyrics, this album has a lot more soul than that.