New year, new reason to spend money you should be paying your heating bill with.
Alkaline Trio has announced they are dropped the mother of all boxsets in 2018 to celebrate their band turning old enough to buy a 6-pack of Black Label legally in the state of Ohio.
Past Live is the bands full catalog but live versions that were recorded in Chicago over the past couple years in audio and video versions.
The bundles include:
Past Live Box Set 8xLP (Colored Vinyl):
All 8 LPs collected together in a box that is exclusive to the Past Live Deluxe Bundles. All LPs pressed on limited edition colored vinyl.
A 4 disc Blu-ray set features the band performing all 8 albums live in superior 5.1 audio for your listening and viewing pleasure:
Disc 1 – My Shame Is True – Goddamnit
Disc 2 – This Addiction – Maybe I’ll Catch Fire
Disc 3 – Agony & Irony – From Here To Infirmary
Disc 4 – Crimson – Good Mourning
The albums will be sold separately as will the blu-ray set. The boxset however is only available though a bundle. I have this feeling this will sell out fast.
Here is what the band had to say about this awesome collection:
We are proud to unveil a project we’ve been working on for a while now: Past Live. We recorded all eight studio albums live at our show at the Metro in Chicago, and now we bring it to you ONLY for limited time preorder (order by Feb 9). Each album will be a different colored neon vinyl to match the album cover. Additionally, we have a four-disc Blu-Ray (2 albums on each disc) that was recorded in HD and mixed in 5.1 surround sound. For our Super Deluxe bundle we’ve taken our old backdrops from over the years and crafted them in to large tote bags with a zip top and side pocket. Plus you will receive a custom sleeve for all eight vinyl, a band signed 12″x12″ screened and numbered art poster and a Past Live T-shirt.
These limited quantity super deluxe bundles will sell for $315. We will also offer the Deluxe (everything but the backdrop bag), for $275. Individual albums on vinyl and the Blu-ray are available to purchase ala carte.
Preorder yours now. You have until February 9th to do so. You can skip rent for a month, your landlord would understand.
It’s pretty crazy to me that Blink 182 still exists. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a fan since the 90s when they were just some unknown pop-punkers. After all they have been through, all of the fame, all of the drama, and most of all the departure of one Tom DeLonge, wouldn’t you think the band would just call it quits for good already?
Perhaps in a fit of spite, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker continued on and invited Alkaline Trio‘s Matt Skiba to take on vocal/guitar duties for a reunion show of sorts. I remember thinking “how bad ass would that be if Skiba just joined them and they put out a new album?” I know I was not the only one who thought that either.
Shortly after, it was confirmed Skiba had joined Blink and they were recording a new album. Now here I am about to throw some words and whatnot into a review for it. Perhaps a little delayed, but here it is.
Time for a story about me. Feel free to skip over…
The lyrics “nobody likes you when you’re 23” will always have special meaning in my mind for the rest of my life. Any Blink fan knows what song those lyrics come from. The year that song came out, an immature me swore the song was about my own experiences in a sense as I worked hard to get through a tough year thanks to an ex-psycho girlfriend and my own bad decision-making.
What I am trying to get at is simple, I was a Blink fan back then. “Dammit” was one of my go to songs, I loved Dude Ranch and Cheshire Cat. I remember even seeing Blink live at Blossom with Bad Religion opening for the Enema of the State tour. That was the show Barker missed as he broke his hand punching some a-hole at the Taco Bell my cousin was working at in Akron. Good times.
A few years later thanks to an old friend, I scored a front row ticket to see them again at Blossom with No Doubt. Both shows were amazing.
As the years passed, more Blink albums came out, Angels & Airwaves, Boxcar Racer, Transplants, and other side projects emerged, and Blink slowly moved out of my continual rotation of daily tunes. It happens folks, you know exactly what I am talking about. I got bored with them.
A certain Blink flame was re-ignited inside of me the day I heard Skiba was going to be on their new album. I remember hearing the first single off the new album, I was stoked. I still am stoked. So pardon my fandom and honestly on this post, these are my favorite reviews to do, the ones that I am legit excited to write on.
California is Blink 182’s seventh full-length release. Currently consisting of Hoppus, Barker, and the recent addition of Skiba (Alkaline Trio), who replaced Tom DeLonge. Blink 182 has been around since the early 90s and moved from a silly pop-punk band on underground labels, to a heavy-hitting act selling out stages all over the world.
When I listened to California the first time, my initial thought was that there was a lot of filler songs on the album. Long gone are the days of bands putting out albums with 16 tracks. After listening to the album over and over, that thought went away.
Opening track “Cynical” reminded me of past Blink material, at least the start did. Barker’s over the top drumming helped speed up the song and Skiba’s introductory backup singing proved this was not going to be the same Blink at all and not in a bad way.
“Bored To Death” has already taken over the radio stations. The beginning had an “Adam’s Song” similarity to it, but not enough to discourage. When the band jumps in together at the chorus, it pretty much blew me away. I know in time I am going to get sick of this song in time as it will be played over and over, but until that happens, I am going to enjoy the hell out of it. The video for the song cracked me up too, but only because I have reached old man status and remember feeling invincible once.
“She’s Out of Her Mind” will probably take responsibility for the younger generation to have a sudden interest in Bauhaus. Aside from that, this catchy song really planted a positive reminder that you should be yourself and not care about what others think.
“Los Angeles” was more of a rock masterpiece than a pop-punk track. I would not be shocked if this track alone brings in new fans of all ages. Hoppus and Skiba trading vocals and howls throughout was just perfect.
A more realistic “Sober” sang a story about substance-abused-rough-times in relationships and carried a level of honesty throughout. It was easy to compare my own bad decisions from my past in this track and also recall the apologetic resolutions. This song grew on me the more and more I listened to it. I loved the lyric “I’m a dandelion, you’re a four-leafed clover.”
The quick “Built This Pool” was about as crass as the band got on this album. Seeing how raw they used to be, I am glad they have not completely thrown away their comical ideals. Personally speaking, I really was hoping for a lot more of their humor throughout.
Skiba just killed it on “No Future”. This track was the song that had me smiling ear to ear knowing that Skiba was the perfect fit for the redesigned Blink. Hoppus and Skiba compliment the hell out of one another on this track. This dreary track which seemingly sounded like a humble departure, was one of the more catchier ones on the entire album for me.
“Kings of the Weekend” was one of the tracks I felt was more of a filler track at first, but the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it. This is everything a Blink fan could want in a Blink song. Not to mention the different singing styles keep things interesting.
I feel like I can say there is a lot I can say about”San Diego” as it really reminded me of the good times, but I won’t. I will just say it has grown on me a lot and I know the younger generation is going to eat this song up.
“Brohemian Rhapsody” was lame until I saw this:
Then it was hilarious…
All in all, California is an exceptional release. I can admit that I have not been a fan of Blink’s last few releases, but this one hits all the high marks in my mind. Initially I told myself and others that I only liked about 70% of the album, but the more and more I listen to it, the more I am digging it.
Perhaps my liking of California is because Skiba is on board now and I’ve been a AK3 fan for as long as I can remember, but I wish nothing but the best for Blink 182 and love seeing them at the top of the music world again. I seriously hope they continue and can not wait to see what they come up with next.
It’s been 10 years since The Falcon dropped one of my favorite albums, Unicornography, so for me sitting down to write about this release is pretty compelling.
Anyone who fancies themselves a punk rocker has had to have heard of The Falcon unless they were living in a gutter. They are the enigma of punk rock supergroups and just dropped Gather Up The Chaps on Red Scare. I am sure most people who are reading this already have listened to it 100 times and pre-ordered 7 copies of the record.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this release at all. Seriously, I just was not anticipating much of anything to get excited over, I mean it has been 10 years after all. Maybe it’s also because I am old and snooty and thinking that by bringing on
Hause, The Falcon’s dynamic might change.
Boy was I wrong. (Note: I am a huge fan of Hause and even have a photo of me and him where I am smiling and he is not – I just needed to disclose that.)
The Chicago punk rock supergroup for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about features Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms), Neil Hennessy, Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), and the recently recruited Dave Hause (The Loved Ones).
“The Trash” started things off and immediately proved to me this album was going to be a good one. Hearing three vocalists from three of my favorite bands all chime in at once was awesome. Kelly’s rasp, Hause’s howl, and Andriano’s swooning mixed perfectly.
Hearing Andriano chuckle in “Sergio’s Here” made this satire of a track that much more entertaining to the point that I laughed each time I played the song. Seriously though, this track was just a blast to listen to and you can tell the guys were just having fun throughout. I loved the change up towards the end that just sent the song to bed. This reminded me of older Falcon material so much.
I loved Kelly clearing his voice in the middle of “The Skeleton Dance”. Maybe this was not scripted, but it sure did fit in. This high-powered passion-seeking tune was super catchy but made me feel all so dirty and almost depressed by the end.
“Hasselhoff Cheeseburger” may sound like it would have been hilarious given the song title, but I think I need therapy after listening to this track. I feel old AF right now. Hearing Kelly strain off “I only became a man because this ugly body made me” pretty much had me reflecting past choices in life for a moment.
“If Dave Did It” was probably my favorite track on the album. Obviously from the title, this song was almost all Hause making excuses and calling everyone out, but that did not stop the others from interjecting over him making it for one engrossing listen.
Andriano added his own touch with “You Dumb Dildos”, a song that spanned all over the place. At times I felt I was listening to a Westernized AK3, but in the end, everyone just went berzerk and there I was standing wondering what the hell just happened.
Gather Up The Chaps is totally unbroken when it comes to mingling in the punk and the rock with loads of nonsense and hard knocks. This album was quick and all over the place, but at no point was I ever bored listening to it. I think it is safe to say this is one of the better albums I have heard this year.
Dan Andriano, also known as the bassist/singer of Alkaline Trio, recently released an impressive solo album called Hurricane Season. Under the moniker Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room, the man took the album into his hands, literally. He wrote all the songs, played/sang all the music (sans the organ, piano, and a couple of harmony vocals), and even produced it. It is safe to say that Hurricane Season is indeed a true solo album. The man even took it upon himself to supply the photos as seen throughout the album and booklet.
Andriano, in case you live under a rock, is one of the impressive three that make up the popular punk rock band Alkaline Trio. Formerly of Slapstick, he is known these days for his distinguishable signing in many AK3 songs (including “Fine” as heard on AK3’s last full length This Addiction). Andriano has toyed with side projects in the past including a 2002 split as well as been a part of the punk rock supergroup The Falcon. He writes, he plays, he performs, and this time with help from Asian Man Records, he has given his talent a challenge of sorts and dropped quite the impressive album.
“It’s Gonna Rain All Day” opens the ten track album with Andriano doing what he does best; write heavy, meaningful lyrics. Such the sorrowful track with piano sneaking in and out of acoustic guitar playing making for one of my favorite tracks on the release. “Hurricane Season” followed in a more upbeat rock feel with some familiar cries coming from Andriano’s pipes. “Hollow Sounds” was more of an acoustic jam with many the reference to addicting temptations and comparisons revolving around a heartfelt memory.
“Let Me In” was a busy rock track throughout, impressive when you think that one man put it together by himself. “On Monday” had a nice country/rock feel to it. “The Last Day We Ever Close Our Eyes” was the closest thing on the entire album that resembled a heartfelt track. Then came, “From This Oil Can”, a seemingly happy ending to Hurricane Season that easily was meant to swoon someone in a clever, direct way. I really enjoyed this closing track a lot.
Hurricane Season was an album full of songs that easily could have been mistaken for AK3 b-sides or acoustic jams, but I know that is not at all what he was looking to do. Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room was more of a personal sounding voyage with deep tracks most likely that have been trapped in his mind for quite some time.
Andriano does contribute quite a lot to AK3, so it is not surprising that a lot of the tracks on Hurricane Season are dark and lost. Knowing though that this album is a solo release means that Andriano has offered so much more to it over the the typical 1/3 he probably does in AK3 as the two other members help make AK3 what they are too. The result is a personal tribute to himself. If anything, an amazing musician who probably just wanted to play some songs all by himself for others to listen to did just that. I just hope he takes this solo project on the road, only time will tell. See tour dates below. No Cleveland show, but who knows, maybe next time!
Fall Tour Dates:
Sept. 9th – Gainesville, FL at The Double Down
Sept. 10th – Naples, FL at Flieschmann Park
Sept. 11th – Ybor City, FL at Crowbar
Sept. 13th – Charlotte, NC at The Evening Muse
Sept. 14th – Chapel Hill, NC at Local 506
Sept. 15th – West Columbia, SC at New Brookland Tavern
Sept. 16th – St. Augustine, FL at Cafe 11
Sept. 24th – Chicago, IL at The Bottom Lounge
Punk rockers Alkaline Trio (AK3) recently dropped a mostly-acoustic, sort-of-best-of-album entitled Damnesia on their very own label Heart&Skull. The album, that was also released on Epitaph Records, contains seletions from previous releases from the band’s career as well as two brand new songs. If you recall, AK3 already took a stab at releasing some acoustic tracks as seen on last year’s deluxe version of This Addiction. This time though, the band had a reason to dig into their catalog.
Marking their 15 year anniversary, the band saw it best to celebrate their success by putting together an album for the fans. The result is a nice twist at classic songs with some of the re-recorded acoustic / semi-unplugged versions sounding better than the original cuts.
“Calling All Skeletons” started off the 15-track album, sounded well, but just was not overly impressive. “Nose Over Tail”, originally found as a b-side from the “Sundials” single, on the other hand was awesome. I loved that they re-recorded such a great track and it sounded better to me than the original thanks to Skiba’s vocals sounding so personal and heartfelt.
The pianos throughout “This Could Be Love” was a nice touch. A bit gloomier this round, the track was a tad slowed down which was fine by this listener. “Calvicle” kept things moving with a speedy acoustic jam. “Mercy Me” almost sounded rejuvenated with its rebirth into the un-plugged world.
“The American Scream” started with a duo of Skiba and piano playing. I have to admit I enjoyed this version a lot. I loved when the rest of the band kicked in and started playing / singing along. “We’ve Had Enough” continued impressing me. There was just something about this version that made me tap my foot a little harder to the ground while listening to.
One of the two new tracks, “Olde English 800” was an awesome tribute to a iconic malt beverage. The sing-a-long had me craving for a 40oz. or two by the time it was over. Comedic? Perhaps… Sincere? Absolutely. Am I going to have a hangover tomorrow? That is has not been determined yet. All in all, great love song for a top-notch beverage.
AK3 covering The Violent Femmes was not overly impressive to me, but it was nice see them choose “I Held Her In My Arms” over other overly-covered Femmes songs. It was not terrible to listen to at all, it was just not something I was really looking to listen to although I appreciated the light twang feel to it. Then again I never was the biggest Femmes fan.
“I Remember A Rooftop” was the other new track on Damnesia and was a lot more serious than the O.E. 800 song. Andriano took over singing duties this round on the acoustic guitar only track. With lyrics like “I took my lousy shot at public recognition” the lyrics clearly were a little darker, something this beloved band has never been afraid to dish out.
The very Dexter Morgan describing “Private Eye” was another nice surprise to find on this album. A great version of “Radio” closed out the album. Once again, the singing sounded just a little more personal and meaningful on this track. I really enjoyed it a lot.
A lot of times when I hear that bands are going to take songs and re-record them in an acoustic manner I am usually not overly excited about it, sans Unwritten Law’s Music In High Places. AK3 nailed it though with Damnesia. The album takes a nice detour from the punk rock path and brings you to just a nice chill (chilling?) listen many punk rock and non-punk rock fans will enjoy.
Does recording an acoustic album mean the band has slowed down (not trying to knock anyone)? Well, perhaps in some cases for some bands, but I doubt AK3 has any means to take it down a notch anytime soon. This was a nice novel idea for the fans from the band that has been kicking it for a decade and a half. Look for AK3 to be touring this summer in support of the new release as well as means to continue to celebrate their 15 years as a punk rock act.
Andriano had this to say about the tour:
“We’re looking forward to our 15th anniversary tour this summer. We’re going to really try to put together a set that encompasses everything the band has done over the past 15 years and plan to play some songs that rarely find their way in to the set list. We will also play some songs in an unplugged style similar to what we’ve recently recorded on Damnesia. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”