The Tab’s Album Round Up

JORDAN BICKERTON and CHRIS BANNON can’t understand the Courteeners and are annoyed with Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio Chris Bannon Jordan Bickerton Ocean Eyes Owl City The Courteeners The Falcon This Addiction

Alkaline Trio – This Addiction

Long seen as the less annoying, more talented alternative to Blink-182, Alkaline Trio return with a seventh studio album, apparently keen to reassert their ‘punk’ credentials – hence the reunion with Matt Allison, producer of their more caustic earlier records, and a cheeky nod to The Misfits, with a song entitled ‘Dine, Dine My Darling’. The title track does indeed skip along nicely, featuring a rousing, typically Trio chorus to get the album started. Yes, the fact that I am deigning to mention a ‘sing-along’ moment undermines their pretensions to punk-dom, yet this is the standard by which the band insist we judge them; having made their name with a string of melodic pop-punk stompers, ‘This Addiction’ is somewhat short on infectious hooks.

Vocalist Matt Skiba is renowned for his grisly lyrics, but the constant references to drugs and vampires from a man long since 30 begin to wear a little thin; perhaps more damningly though, the desperation and urgency of old, hinted at on standout tracks ‘Dead on the Floor’ and ‘Off the Map’, surfaces all too rarely. The appearance of synths in the album’s mid-section is objectionable on purely musical grounds, even before the purists get their Black Flag knickers in a twist. Whilst ‘This Addiction’ is a worthy addition to the Trio’s cannon, it is neither a return to past glories, nor the dawn of a genuine musical progression; one for the fans then, but certainly not the best place to start with an undoubtedly significant band.  JB


The Courteeners – The Falcon

I’ve never understood what all the fuss about The Courteeners is.  I wasn’t impressed with previous album St Jude, and Falcon is hardly a step forward.  With its slow paced songs it’s an album that drags out and is unmemorable.  The Opener (yes that’s the name of the first track, real original guys) is probably the best track, a 5 minute long song whinging about on tour homesickness.  That just about sets the tone for the album.  Lead single You Overdid it Doll is unimaginative and repetitive, whilst Lullaby nearly sent me to sleep (that’s not a good thing).  Mancunian brit pop has been done before.  And Oasis were far better at it. CB


Owl City – Ocean Eyes

The only time I ever backed Jedward’s abominable cover of Ice Ice Baby and Glee’s cover of Don’t Stop Believin’ was when Fireflies was topping the charts.  Lyrically Ocean Eyes is appalling.  Opener Cave In says it all, “If the bombs go off the sun will still be shining,” and “every mushroom cloud has a silver lining.”  Sorry, I never quite realised that death and destruction could be quite such a cheery topic.  Fireflies isn’t much better – even Cindies steers clear of it.  The rest of the album just drifts into homogenous surrealism, and differentiating one track from the next becomes very difficult.  One possible explanation for this dreadful, dreamy and delusional emo pop is that Adam Young is an insomniac (hence the name Owl City.  OK good name I suppose)).  That’s not an excuse, just might explain his naïve daydreaming view on the world.  One day I hope to wake up from my nightmare and that this album never broke into the mainstream.  Next time I want to hear owls in the city, I’ll download a soundtrack of them hooting instead. CB