Alkaline Trio, ‘Damnesia’ (Heart & Skull/Epitaph)
More than a decade on,Chicago’s Alkaline Trio pause for retrospection with an album devoted primarily to new acoustic versions of familiar tunes. While Damnesia makes a surprisingly strong showcase for the Trio’s songwriting chops, they should’ve taken a few more chances. “Every Thug Needs a Lady,” for example, could’ve become a fine country song with some creative tweaking. Fittingly, there’s a cover of Violent Femmes, who pioneered the strategy of playing unplugged with rock’n’roll intensity, though the take on “I Held Her in My Arms” lacks the original’s twitchy sizzle.