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Volume 68, Issue 144, Monday, June 2, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Alkaline set to energize Engine Room

By Jason Gagnon
The Daily Cougar

Expect the first generation of depressed, alcoholic pop-punk kids to emerge after Chicagois Alkaline Trio plays Tuesday night at the Engine Room. The band is supporting its new album Good Mourning.

For those not familiar with the group, Alkaline Trio is a pop-punk band who tend to dwell on their abuse of alcohol and narcotics as well as the women theyive lost. Needless to say, the group is much darker than its radio friendly peers.

Suicide and depression are topics bands like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte really donit explore. That could be the reason Alkaline Trio has developed a legion of die-hard fans since its early releases on Asian Man Records. While albums like Maybe Iill Catch Fire quickly earned status as punk rock classics, the band seemed to creatively stumble with its last record, From Here to Infirmary.

Not to worry, though. The band has returned in top form with Good Mourning, which entered the Billboard Charts at No. 20 on its first week of release. From the slick production and heavy promotion itis easy to tell that the bandis record label, Vagrant Records, intends on breaking this band wide into the mainstream. One can only hope itis successful. The songwriting of Matt Skiba and Dan Adriano contains more depth than anything ever attempted in this quickly tiring genre.

Good Mourning begins with the dreary "This Could Be Love," which graphically describes death in classic Trio fashion. From there the listener is treated to the first single "Weive Had Enough," (featuring Keith Morris of Black Flag and the Circle Jerks) that could easily fit into rotation on radio stations across the country.

Plenty of open drug references are made throughout the album, confirming many of the rumors about the band longtime fans have heard. "Continental" is a great junky song with blunt lyrics such as, "Iive got a dying urge to feel the way you do/ Too close to comfort/ Bed and breakfast in a spoon." Some of the albumis stronger moments come towards the end with the all influenced "Blue Carolina" and the acoustic track "Blue in the Face."

Also performing on Tuesday will be Pretty Girls Make Graves. The group boasts former members from the Murder City Devils and Death Wish Kids. But they sound nothing like the bands, but more like a mixture of At the Drive In and Discount. While its albums arenit that great, the band actually puts on a good live show. So, head up to the Engine Room early.

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