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September 23, 2023

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The Alkaline Trio
For Your Lungs Only (Asian Man Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Alkaline Trio play emo influenced punk rock. On their debut, four song EP they serve up music that can be fast and powerful at times (punk side), or very melodic with an intense feeling that pulls on your emotions (emo side).

Starting off with some energy, the album quickly rips into a number heavy on the punk and mild on the emo by the name of "Snake Oil Tanker." Thick bass, hard hitting drums, and semi-thick guitar rip through a fast, melodic storm. Nice hooks are weaved into the fast pace, giving the song a light emo feeling. My favorite thing about this song is the thick bass that seems to lead the song, even breaking down to just bass and drums over the vocals, which really helps bring to life the words they're trying to get across. The pounding of the drums combined with wild bass is powerful and intense, yet with the lack of the guitar seems to have a very weak spot to it, which opens it up emotionally. "Cooking Wine," on the other hand, brings a half and half mixture of emo and punk, offering up a slower number with the same power and drive behind it. Starting off with the drums, guitar, and bass hammering out a medium paced, softer punk tune the song soon cuts into a hook which then brings the song to just the soft guitar and the vocals. The words "Sorry I'm late, I was out spoiling my liver. I couldn't wait, the sun was up for far too long today. And I can't see straight, but the two of you look awfully pretty. And I couldn't wait, I've been awake for far too long today," drift through the song and make their way into your heart. As you start to feel all the powerful emotions the song glows with, they soon bust back into the emo-punk rock that will touch you, grab you, and hook you in. With the mid tempo and the melodic surroundings, the song is very inviting. Closing the CD with "For Your Lungs Only," they end with a punk tune that is drenched in emo, but still seems to allow the punk a little more flavor.

Although this EP only contains four songs, it shows that this band has the talent, drive, and the heart to produce more tunes emerged in their punk/emo mold. I myself am now looking forward to a full length from this very promising band. But with Dan Adriano also playing in Tuesday, who knows what will become of this band. I'll give this CD a B+.

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