What? Over the last decade, Chicago's death-obsessed emo outfit Alkaline Trio have progressed from a youthful, angst-powered outfit churning gruff-throated shouters to a slightly -- dare we say! -- matured act embodying a slicker songwriting methodology and sound. And the band's latest effort, Agony & Irony, out today (July 1), marks their debut on Epic Records and finds the Trio continuing to refine their Cure-meets-Hot Water Music sonic, as illustrated with the glossy "Over and Out," while still appropriately rocking out on tracks like "In Vein."
Who? Formed by Matt Skiba (guitar/vocals) in 1996, Alkaline Trio -- having seen numerous lineups -- currently features Dan Andriano (bass/vocals) and Derek Grant (drums/backup vocals). Soon after its formation, the band signed to ska label Asian Man Records, which released their debut full-length Goddamnit and 2000's Maybe I'll Catch Fire. In 2000 Skiba and co. departed for Vagrant Records, releasing three records through the label before joining forces with major label Epic mid-2007 to prep Agony & Irony.
Fun Fact: Despite the band's decidedly darker, heavier lyrical content and sound, Alkaline Trio appeared -- like, in person -- on a recent episode of MTV's teeny-bopper faux-reality TV series, The Hills. Alkaline Trio: Lauren Conrad approved!
Now Hear This: "In Vein"
Now Watch This: Alkaline Trio performing "In Vein" on Warped Tour