The Alkaline Trio, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire

The Alkaline Trio, Maybe I'll Catch Fire

To paraphrase Henry Rollins: “Rock rock baby rock, yeah!” And rock is exactly what this is, yeah, but what kind? Indie-rock? Post-punk? Modern rock? Emo? Hell, I don’t know, and more to the point, I don’t care. Maybe I’ll Catch Fire is just flat-out a great rock album. In fact, it rides the line between “alternative rock” and “indie-rock” so closely that it rubs it out completely. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to hear this sometime on the local “alternative” station — and don’t take that as a slam, because every song on here could kick the hell out of almost any Blink-182, Creed, or Bush song you can name. It’s that sound, the roar of catchy, heartfelt pop songs gone distorted, pioneered by folks like Hüsker Dü back in the early days of pop-punk and left relatively unchanged since. “Tuck Me In” wouldn’t have sounded too far off on Warehouse, and neither would the brilliantly blunt “Fuck You Aurora,” “5-3-10-4,” or a half-dozen other tracks on here.

So, now you’ve got the sound pegged; so what’s the difference here? Taste is a subjective thing, it’s true, so take this with a grain of salt: to my picky-ass ears, there’s something truer about The Alkaline Trio than your average Buzz Band. How else can I explain it? I suppose it all boils down to better songwriting; the songs here are complex, well-written stories, carefully woven into melodies and played with intelligence, passion and a heck of a lot of loud guitars. I dare anybody to pick apart the lyrics to “Keep ‘Em Coming,” the first blast of full-speed poetry on here, or the quietly angry closer “Radio,” and see how they stack up next to the latest Bush song — the exercise will prove my point better than I ever could in words.

(Asian Man Records -- P.O. Box 35585, Monte Soreno, CA. 95030; http://www.asianmanrecords.com/; )
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Sunday, October 1st, 2000. Filed under Reviews.

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