Sound — 9
A very interesting sound. It kind of blends a lot of genres, from pop-punk to punk rock to a shade of emo here and there, a very unique sound. It relies on power chords, though not as much as most other bands of their genre. Drums are great, bass is also very good, with some interesting riffs and the guitar is faultless. The signature sound of alkaline trio, however, is Matt Skiba's melodic (slightly hoarse in this album) voice which drives the album along with Dan Adriano's more cheerful, bass voice which adds a totally new side to their music. You can tell immediately which song's are whose, as Adriano's songs always have a slightly more upbeat, cheerful sound and Skiba's always has a slightly more dark overtone.
Lyrics — 8
Matt Skiba has always impressed with his lyrics, and will continue to do so. Even if the melody is cheerful, the lyrics will have a darker, deeper meaning which is noticed as soon as you hear it. Also unlike some other singers of this genre, the lyrics are very clear and easy to understand. However I couldn't help notice there was a slight satanic edge to some songs. "Step 1, slit my throat, step 2 play in my blood" in "This Could Be Love" was a kind of eerie line to be singing but still. Dan Adriano's singing AND lyrics have improved leaps and bounds. He gets a nearly even split with Matt Skiba on the songs (7 to Matt, 5 to Dan) and his lyrics tend to be a bit more cheerful. However, they can also border on the darker side sometimes. "If you fall down enough, well, soon enough you'll find hell" are the lyrics in 100 Stories and, well, are a bit different from 'From Here To Infirmary'.
Overall Impression — 9
I wouldn't compare Alkaline Trio to anyone, for the sole reason that you can never place them in any one genre. 'Fatally Yours' was pop-punk, 'We've Had Enough' seemed punk rock and 'Blue in the Face' had an almost Bob Dylan sound to it; acoustic and the voice seemed a bit more hoarse than normal. Best songs were probably 'We've Had Enough', 'Continental, 'All On Black', 'Emma', 'Blue Carolina' and 'Blue In The Face'. I've named half the album there, but that really shows that this album is prety exceptional, with plenty of memorable songs and riffs. I love the whole package; Matt Skiba and Dan Adriano's melodic singing, the riffs that stay in your head, the drumming that fits every song to the T and the darker sound that comes out. There is, to me, nothing really to hate.