Alkaline Trio : From Here To Infirmary

Alkaline Trio. American Pub, down the pub, Cheers!

Alcohol has a lot to answer for. It kills some. It fucks up most. It tips relationships over the edge. Hypothetically, it’s a Class A drug. And for vaunted Chicago punkers Alkaline Trio it accompanies virtually all of their dilemmas and heartbreaks, and a fair share of their good times too. Quite how they managed to forge such beautiful, precise rock music under those conditions is a small miracle we should thus be grateful for.

‘From Here To Infirmary’ – their 14-step programme to recovery – doesn’t profess to leap any fences or invent nu genres; it betrays a sense of tradition more than innovation. But you get the impression that the Trio couldn’t do anything other than be in a band who let their battered hearts do all the talking. Sure, new single ‘Stupid Kid’ flirts with early Green Day – silky crooning, hard-nosed yet accessible riffage – but on the likes of the truly wonderful ?Crawl? they tap into a more considered and melancholic vein, where abject self-pity is tempered by Daniel Andriano’s confession to have “Never had a drink that I didn’t like”. Common ground, it seems, is not hard to find.

With the cool Vagrant seal of approval (US label of Rocket From The Crypt and others) the Alkaline Trio may soon be destined for greater things. The revelation, we assume, starts at closing time.

Darren Johns