Remains review by Alkaline Trio

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  • Released: Jan 30, 2007
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (38 votes)
Alkaline Trio: Remains
0

Sound — 7
The Alkaline Trio, as always, comfortably find their sound between the current pop-punk contenders of today and the older punk contenders of yesteryear, specifically the Misfits. As many of you know, this CD/DVD is actually a compilation of many rare or hard-to-find Alkaline Trio tracks, with their Splits thrown on as well. Since many of the tracks offered are from earlier LPs and other tracks are songs that couldn't quite make it onto a recent release, the sound varies greatly. Some songs, like "My Standard Break from Life", sound like they could be a pre-90s punk rock sort of sound, while others, like "Buried", sound as though they were a post-Good Mourning recording. The problem with this is that they switch music styles quite often. A great example of this is that "Jaked on Green Beers", a fast, powerful, raw, F-you song comes right before "Queen of Pain", and emotional, depressing, melodic song. You've got "Dead End Road" right after "My Standard Break from Life". The song ordering on this album, for the most part, is very poor. They wanted to keep the Splits together and then tried to throw similar songs together in the breaks between the two splits. Not until the end of the album does this start working. Despite the poor ordering, the CD does attempt, at some parts, to keep the sound flowing, with most of the songs on the CD listed in chronological order (the only ones straying are those I've already mentioned). Still, no matter what the time period these songs come from, you can still tell that Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano are have a great deal of talent when it comes to writing their short, catchy breed of pop punk. Skiba still finds a way to make boring power-chord driven songs into unique harmonies, and Dan's work, especially in the earlier part of the Trio's career, follows the same example. As long-time Trio fans know, the Alk3 have never been a band with solos in their songs, and that stays true throughout this album. However, fills often times are placed in short spots during some tracks, and mange to make a difference in the song ("My Standard Break from Life" features an very catchy fill after each chorus). "Buried" shows a slight change from the typically Trio song and from Matt's usual work, which I was pleased by. The music, however, stays simple and adheres to the tried-and-true formula that this band has benefited from in the past. The only thing dragging this score down is poor ordering.

Lyrics — 8
This is one place the Trio have a tendency to get me pegged. Ranging from the topic of being insanely drunk to the topic of depressing love, the Alkaline Trio have really covered everything. Once again, as was with the music, you can tell a difference as the CD goes on, starting with very raw lyrics and moving to the aforementioned love songs. In "Jaked on Green Beers", you get lyrics like "There was a time when I thought you were a friend to me, I think those times I was probably just drunk, and if they offered a test about being a good friend, I'd put money down that you'd surely flunk... I hope this is goodbye." Meanwhile, in "Dead End Road", you'll get lyrics like "And forever ain't that long, when your smile's stuck in your head like a pop song, all you think about is death, your dirty head has gone unslept, for way too long now." And, in a song like "Hell Yes", you'll find the lyric "Bless me dark Father I have sinned, I've done it before and I'll do it again." Reading these lyrics while not set to music does them no justice, I realize. Most of their lyrics aren't complex, but are very effective when combined with the chord progression they happen to be executing at that given moment. The Trio's lyrics are the things I most identify with on any of their albums, and I continue to enjoy them to this day.

Overall Impression — 8
In "Remains", you get a taste of everything. Satanic songs, political songs, depression songs, F-you songs, and a few extra live songs just for your listening pleasure. Admittedly, when I bought this album I already owned every song on it, so it's nothing new to me. However, for those of you that are beginning Trio fans or own only the main albums, this is a great addition to your library. Also, since the bonus DVD packaged with the CD includes all of the major music videos and several hours of the Trio on the road, those familiar with all songs on this album may still want to pick it up. The varying music on the earlier part of the album may throw off some beginning Trio fans, but with luck the catchy, lyrical-driven songs will pull them back in and keep them along for the ride. It was also nice to see "Warbrain" established on an actual Trio album, instead of on a "Various Artists" compilation. It continues to be one of my favorite Trio songs, and perhaps the best on this album, so if you're new to the Alkaline Trio, be sure to give it a listen. To be honest, I didn't feel that they needed to include their split albums on this CD, and they could have had at least one or two songs cut off of them (especially the split with One Man Army). However, this album is (of course) a must-own for any big Trio fan, as you'll get all of the rarities you've likely downloaded but never gotten on an album. The two disappointments I had with this album were 1. Poor track ordering, and 2. They didn't include the song Demons Away, which is an acoustic and piano track by Matt Skiba released on some obscure benefit compilation. Besides these two issues, this is an enjoyable listen with a lot of tracks that are bound to get stuck in your head for a few weeks.

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    USCENDONE BENE
    The CD is great, some songs are better than what you would find on a more recent Alk3 album. The DVD would have also been awesome, but it's way too short. It's the 'Remains' of 2005/2006, two years, and yet the Documentary less than an hour (i think). Atleast what you do get is good to watch.
    break-me-in
    gonegonegone wrote: La Qotsa wrote: break-me-in wrote: La Qotsa wrote: Neon Knight wrote: Thats the most emo album cover I have ever seen +1 I hate the way people assume that anything to do with death, suicide, heartbreak, or blood is emo and label it immediately. Ever heard 'Fade to black' by Metallica? It's about wanting to die. If a band like Bullet for my valentine (who I hate btw) released that today, it would be branded emo. Just one example. Emo is just a fashion trend. It's not a genre of music (most "emo music" is pop-punk or metalcore) and it's not an adjective to be applied to anything remotely related. Alkaline trio aren't emo either. One thing about the album: I already had 3 of these tracks without having to make any effort to collect the B-sides (I only have one album by them). But this is a fairly good release and I guess it's nice to have them all in one package. Far too much shit. Whiny voices and album covers with blood AND RAZOR BLADE IN HAND!! If thats not emo, then what is? Emo. I'm gonna go ahead and guess you've never heard a single Alkaline Trio song. There's no whining at all. It's a pretty sad state of affairs now that anything that has an overall dark subject matter is considered "emo." Is the new Smashing Pumpkins album going to be labeled "emo" too?
    Exactly (by the way, I know I wrote most of this so quoting it isn't too necessary, but yeah). Listen to 'We've Had Enough' or 'Warbrain' and tell me it's emo and not punk/pop-punk (there's a huge debate, I won't go there.) Then listen to 'This Could Be Love' or 'Dead End Road' and tell me that these tracks aren't a complete piss-take of what is considered 'emo'. (Ironically, these were written before the rise of this non-genre.) I said something a little bit wrong before though. Most of what is now called emo is pop-punk (MCR) or metalcore (Bullet for my valentine), but I should've mentioned it WAS a genre at one point. It began as emotional hardcore, which was any hardcore and hardcore punk music which contained emotional lyrics. NOW, however, emo is little more than a trend. I won't deny that there are people out there who fit the stereotype, but that's basically down to their mentality and clothing. Doesn't mean suicide or blood are emo.
    Amuro Jay
    i love how for every new review theres a hundred new shitheads... either way, i kinda like alkaline trio. i wouldnt call them punk or emo... but i would say their music is suicidal
    terrencemaddox
    lisagabe wrote: emos cut them selves, the person on the cover is cutting his/her self, hence, this is an emo album cover
    Nope. Disgruntled teenagers cut themselves. Those who PLAY emo music, play music. Bitch.
    Nybb
    Weezer=emo now? Miss the point much? Weezer is so far from what is considered emo that it makes me want to shoot you in the face for even entertaining that thought.
    Come off your high horse and learn to read. He said OLD Weezer, in which he was right. On topic...I liked Alk3 more when I was younger. In fact, their newer stuff is really starting to irritate me. I might download a couple songs, but that's all.
    selloutpunx
    the album is called remains. it contains some songs that were cut from full length albums. the cover may resemble someone similar to a butcher. it's actually kind of clever. i don't think he's actually trying to cut his wrists. when i cut my wrists, i tend to forgo the wearing of an apron. it's just my preference, but the blood stains add character to my tshirts.
    Guitar_Poet
    kmanning2008 wrote: okay wow you people are really uninformed. To the person who said that "emo" is only a fashion trend...you are wrong. Sorry. I don't care what you think. You're wrong. Emo is now officially recognized as a musical genre. (Sorry for the big words, I know they scare you.) Whether you like it or not, the cover is pretty emo. Whether or not the guy is cutting himself or stabbing someone...it doesn't matter. It doesn't show his face, he's covered in blood, and he's holding a parring knife. Sorry. It's an emo cover. Get over it. Alternative Rock does not all sound the same. Sorry. If you had any taste in music, you'd know that. Weezer=emo now? Miss the point much? Weezer is so far from what is considered emo that it makes me want to shoot you in the face for even entertaining that thought. Whether or not the BAND is emo is for the listener to decide...because most people that get defensive when their music is called "emo" are the kids who are scared to admit that their lives match up exactly with the lyrics to "The Emo Song" (http://emosong.ytmnd.com ) Bullet For My Valentine is a good band. Don't put down other people's good music because your singing/playing sucks. Nobody cares. We'll never have to worry about hearing you anyways because you suck too bad to get anywhere. Okay. I am going to admit something. I have never listened to Alkaline Trio, but this review makes me want to give it a listen. It sounds really good. And before you blam me for talking crap about them if I haven't even heard them before, please point out to me where I said "Alkaline Trio is emo" anywhere in this post before this sentence. Thank you. Okay, can we get back to talking about the music instead of hijacking posts because you don't like emo music? If you don't like it, nobody cares. Some people do. That's their choice. Get over it and get a life...or better yet, go learn how to play some of it. You might appreciate it more...most artists appreciate the music more when they play it.
    this guy cracks me up... thinks he knows everything. i loved the comment on Bullet For My Valentine... that was ridiculously hypocritical. and the "big words" comment... if those are big words... wow. ignorance. that commanding, all-knowing tone was funny though, i have to give you credit for that... people like you are annoying though. =) i think i listened to some alkaline trio a while back, and it was okay.. but i dont really listen to that kind of stuff anymore.
    Guitar_Poet
    selloutpunx wrote: the album is called remains. it contains some songs that were cut from full length albums. the cover may resemble someone similar to a butcher. it's actually kind of clever. i don't think he's actually trying to cut his wrists. when i cut my wrists, i tend to forgo the wearing of an apron. it's just my preference, but the blood stains add character to my tshirts.
    LOLOL. that comment was clever... i much enjoyed it. =)
    ImaMagician
    Kurtsmyhero06 wrote: haha this is random and makes me llok stupid but at first i thought he was holding a tampon lol
    I second that motion.
    Iliemyfaceoff
    lisagabe wrote: emos cut them selves, the person on the cover is cutting his/her self, hence, this is an emo album cover
    How the hell can anyone not see that he is wearing an apron, covered in blood, and wearing insulated gloves. Obvivously someone who works in a butcher shop or in meat plant.
    DimmuBurger
    I'm glad there's finally a tribute to their earlier (and better) years. Recently, their music has turned for the worse, I guess. I'm glad some of the myths about their songs will be revealed. Especially Queen of Pain, I love that song. Regarding idiots that don't know the band and think "OMFG EMO! DIE!", I ask that you do listen to their earlier and realise that YES they DID contribute to the punk scene once. They were definitely more punk than pop in their goddammit, maybe i'll catch fire, and self-titled EP years. Save for the melody and the occassional use of minor keys, and a few slow songs, you will find they fit the definition. They are one of the most lyrically creative bands out there. How many bands do you know have referenced as their themes: a Sadomasachistic form of love, the blindness of faith, childhood suicide, Stockholm's syndrome, a number of different motivations for murder and suicide, the folly of both satanism and christianity, and of course the self-destruction they submitted themselves to with alcohol. Also using allusions to: Van Gogh, Charlie Manson, the Donner party, the West Memphis Three, the tree of Eden, to name a few. They are by far the best loosely labeled 'pop-punk' band of all time, in terms of insightful lyrics. Good CD+DVD for a good band in their glory years. Nuff Said.
    TopherAbe
    I've had a number of these B-sides for ages now. I collect a lot of the Alkaline Trio 7 inches. All in all, aside from hearing the Hot Water Music split and the One Man Army split stuff over again, it's really great to have quality versions of stuff like The Metro, and the live content doesn't seem too bad either. And as far as the emo thing goes, please, do we have to get into that on a record review? I mean, really now, who cares if their emo or not? My opinion is wrong in your eyes, and yours is wrong in mine. Live and let live, and stop jacking a review that has obviously made a few folks want to go check out a pretty good band.
    alkaline3trio
    Who gives a damn what genre alk3 are? They are the best band in the world, and "We can never break up" is the best song in history... And Dan Andriano should recieve a knighthood... "Spitting out lucky smoke rings round the moon"
    HawkaLuigi
    For the record, Matt and Dan have done stuff that makes fun of society, irony, etc. That's probably what it is, other than that I agree with liemyfaceoff. Remains was a great album until the songs toward the end of the CD. Different strokes, different folks.
    GregS819
    Alkaline Trio has always made fast in your face songs and slower songs on each album, does that make it emo? No, it just means they make different types of songs, get over yourselves and thinking you have to label the type of music. Alkaline Trio are a great band who have been around for over a decade (before it was cool to label bands as emo)
    dragonfiretm89
    1 - i dont see any cut on his wrists that caused that much blood all over him 2 - my MOM said it was emo, so congratz everyone that calls it emo, your just as knowledgable about rock/punk music as my mom 3 - Alkaline trio is a sweet band and a lot of the songs have a positive meaning to them too. And the ones about death are said to have used humour in them.
    dragonfiretm89
    and anyone that says they're emo - list some of the bands you like. (cuz they're probably gonna be steriotypical bands that everyone says they like, so you wont be made fun of)
    soad1232
    All i can say is, That cover is not emo, it's actually a picture of a Slaughter House worker's scarred hands. Just making that Clear, This band are amazing, compared to most bands of late that suck! These guys are not 'emo' do you see the big fringes, i didn't think so. this is punk rock at its best, so suck on that!
    fezaan66
    man all these emo accusations are too gay. go listen to the albums from godammnit rite thru to crimson. go and gain some knowledge of the band at least before making gay comments.
    fezaan66
    man all these emo accusations are just gay and stupid. why dont u idiots listen to the albums goddamnit rite through to crimson and at least gain some knowledge of the band before making silly remarks.
    selloutpunx
    1. i've never seen so many people talk about something they know so little about. 2. UG team: rooftops wasn't an alk3 single because its a hot water music song covered by alk3 on the Alk3/HWM split 3. anyone who used the word emo anywhere on this page should be taking the time to slice their wrists to spare us having more ignorant people on UG than we already have thanks.
    el_deano
    Of which, by the way, describes music with crap time changes and moods, from singing melodically to sudden screaming, and all energetic and shit (usually involving a double bass pedal for drums). This isn't Alkaline Trio at all, though to be fair, the cover is pretty disturbing.
    jude(STF)
    the dvd is pretty short, but its amazingly good, makes me laugh, some of the tracks are amazing too. loving buried and warbrain...
    gonegonegone
    La Qotsa wrote: break-me-in wrote: La Qotsa wrote: Neon Knight wrote: Thats the most emo album cover I have ever seen +1 I hate the way people assume that anything to do with death, suicide, heartbreak, or blood is emo and label it immediately. Ever heard 'Fade to black' by Metallica? It's about wanting to die. If a band like Bullet for my valentine (who I hate btw) released that today, it would be branded emo. Just one example. Emo is just a fashion trend. It's not a genre of music (most "emo music" is pop-punk or metalcore) and it's not an adjective to be applied to anything remotely related. Alkaline trio aren't emo either. One thing about the album: I already had 3 of these tracks without having to make any effort to collect the B-sides (I only have one album by them). But this is a fairly good release and I guess it's nice to have them all in one package. Far too much shit. Whiny voices and album covers with blood AND RAZOR BLADE IN HAND!! If thats not emo, then what is? Emo.
    I'm gonna go ahead and guess you've never heard a single Alkaline Trio song. There's no whining at all. It's a pretty sad state of affairs now that anything that has an overall dark subject matter is considered "emo." Is the new Smashing Pumpkins album going to be labeled "emo" too?
    duncang
    I'm sad now, because I've had EVERY track on there for a few months now. I spent a LONG time getting those rarities and now everybody is gonna have them.
    Nerdo-sez-bo
    samerika wrote: OMG I WAS FIRST IM GONNA GO AND DRINK A BEERRR WOOOOHOHOOOO !
    has this guy noticed yet? but yeah, alkaline trio are awesome.
    BMTuga
    Thats the most emo album cover I have ever seen
    emo is a nice style, at least I like it....
    break-me-in
    La Qotsa wrote: Neon Knight wrote: Thats the most emo album cover I have ever seen +1
    I hate the way people assume that anything to do with death, suicide, heartbreak, or blood is emo and label it immediately. Ever heard 'Fade to black' by Metallica? It's about wanting to die. If a band like Bullet for my valentine (who I hate btw) released that today, it would be branded emo. Just one example. Emo is just a fashion trend. It's not a genre of music (most "emo music" is pop-punk or metalcore) and it's not an adjective to be applied to anything remotely related. Alkaline trio aren't emo either. One thing about the album: I already had 3 of these tracks without having to make any effort to collect the B-sides (I only have one album by them). But this is a fairly good release and I guess it's nice to have them all in one package.
    Kurtsmyhero06
    La Qotsa wrote: break-me-in wrote: La Qotsa wrote: Neon Knight wrote: Thats the most emo album cover I have ever seen +1 I hate the way people assume that anything to do with death, suicide, heartbreak, or blood is emo and label it immediately. Ever heard 'Fade to black' by Metallica? It's about wanting to die. If a band like Bullet for my valentine (who I hate btw) released that today, it would be branded emo. Just one example. Emo is just a fashion trend. It's not a genre of music (most "emo music" is pop-punk or metalcore) and it's not an adjective to be applied to anything remotely related. Alkaline trio aren't emo either. One thing about the album: I already had 3 of these tracks without having to make any effort to collect the B-sides (I only have one album by them). But this is a fairly good release and I guess it's nice to have them all in one package. Far too much shit. Whiny voices and album covers with blood AND RAZOR BLADE IN HAND!! If thats not emo, then what is? Emo.
    ^ idk if this band is emo i have never listened but that cover is very emo in fact emo bands have never had an more emo cover lol
    bdub98899
    This makes me sick. It's like anything that comes out that has a dark subject is emo. and if a person cuts that doesn't mean they are emo. It's not like every goes "I'm emo. I'm depressed. Let's cut myself." That's so lame. the phrase has been thrown around so much it has last it's meaning. Emo was orignally Grey Matter and old Weezer (Pinkerton). That was Emo and now it's for bands like Aiden. ALK3 is punk. Not emo.
    el_deano
    sum41freak8733 : wow some people on here are f**king retarded emo really isnt a genre , think about it emo stands for emotional which can mean happy , sad , angry, exited , anything yeat every one thinks it just means cutting yourself and suicide and whatever else EMO is pretty much every thing all music has a meaning or feeling to it the way people use emo today is f**ked up
    I always thought emo was short for 'emotive rock'. Oh well, if I'm wrong, you can slit my wrist
    caught22
    alkaline trio isnt emo. and i dont think hes cutting himself on the cover. i think he stabbed somone.
    rb26dett741
    caught22 wrote: alkaline trio isnt emo. and i dont think hes cutting himself on the cover. i think he stabbed somone.
    fyi the album cover is of someone in a apron with a glove on and a small knife in his hand three things commonly asociated with a butcher or abitoir worker. i dont think he'd put a glove and apron on to stab someone
    kecua
    How bout this? We **** the damn labels and listen to the cd?
    La Qotsa
    bdub98899 wrote: This makes me sick. It's like anything that comes out that has a dark subject is emo. and if a person cuts that doesn't mean they are emo. It's not like every goes "I'm emo. I'm depressed. Let's cut myself." That's so lame. the phrase has been thrown around so much it has last it's meaning. Emo was orignally Grey Matter and old Weezer (Pinkerton). That was Emo and now it's for bands like Aiden. ALK3 is punk. Not emo.
    Aiden aren't emo? Ahahah, you actually cracked me up.
    Stolenidentity1
    ^haha calling these guys punk is like calling my chemical romance punk ROFL these guys are pop-punk not real punk (and dont say its punk) it doesnt deserve the word punk in the name just like nu-metal
    lessthanjeff420
    youre really all retarded, alkaline trio is not emo, if you dont know what it is dont talk about it like you know what it is. if you actually listened to it, you might like it more than your stupid ass we all sound the same alt rock garbage.
    Fighting Foo
    i have to disagree with the cover being emo, cuz it's a picture of someonein a butcher or an abattoir, notice the apron and the glove
    Kurtsmyhero06
    haha this is random and makes me llok stupid but at first i thought he was holding a tampon lol
    sum41freak8733
    wow some people on here are f**king retarded emo really isnt a genre , think about it emo stands for emotional which can mean happy , sad , angry, exited , anything yeat every one thinks it just means cutting yourself and suicide and whatever else EMO is pretty much every thing all music has a meaning or feeling to it the way people use emo today is f**ked up
    kmanning2008
    okay wow you people are really uninformed. To the person who said that "emo" is only a fashion trend...you are wrong. Sorry. I don't care what you think. You're wrong. Emo is now officially recognized as a musical genre. (Sorry for the big words, I know they scare you.) Whether you like it or not, the cover is pretty emo. Whether or not the guy is cutting himself or stabbing someone...it doesn't matter. It doesn't show his face, he's covered in blood, and he's holding a parring knife. Sorry. It's an emo cover. Get over it. Alternative Rock does not all sound the same. Sorry. If you had any taste in music, you'd know that. Weezer=emo now? Miss the point much? Weezer is so far from what is considered emo that it makes me want to shoot you in the face for even entertaining that thought. Whether or not the BAND is emo is for the listener to decide...because most people that get defensive when their music is called "emo" are the kids who are scared to admit that their lives match up exactly with the lyrics to "The Emo Song" (http://emosong.ytmnd.com ) Bullet For My Valentine is a good band. Don't put down other people's good music because your singing/playing sucks. Nobody cares. We'll never have to worry about hearing you anyways because you suck too bad to get anywhere. Okay. I am going to admit something. I have never listened to Alkaline Trio, but this review makes me want to give it a listen. It sounds really good. And before you blam me for talking crap about them if I haven't even heard them before, please point out to me where I said "Alkaline Trio is emo" anywhere in this post before this sentence. Thank you. Okay, can we get back to talking about the music instead of hijacking posts because you don't like emo music? If you don't like it, nobody cares. Some people do. That's their choice. Get over it and get a life...or better yet, go learn how to play some of it. You might appreciate it more...most artists appreciate the music more when they play it.
    JJpunksk8r
    alkaline trio emo? hell no u just got ur genres mixed up they are a gr8 punk band and if u say there emo its bc emo kids stole alot of shit from punk