Set aside your assumptions about pop-punk and emo as I just did, and forget that 10 million teenage kids are running around with Alkaline Trio’s heart & skull logo emblazoned on their hoodies. What their new release Remains offers is the same pop gems with punk rock roots that early Green Day records delivered. Unless you are too elitist, or just plain tone deaf, it is impossible to deny that the hooks these three guys come up with are not only catchy, but damn good.
Serving as a collection of B-sides, compilation tracks and extras not released in these versions on the band’s previous formal albums, Remains is a sneak peek into the closet of the band’s last two years of extracurricular activities. Also included with the 22 tracks (three of which are live cuts) is a DVD packed with videos and backstage footage, never before seen. It’s as much an addition to a fan’s collection as it is a trailer to the band’s catalog of music — which is substantial as they’ve been around for a decade — for those of us who’ve never given them a chance.
I could list a half dozen tracks that make this a purchase to not question or feel guilty about (they cover “Metro” by Berlin!), but the truth is that this album had me at “Hell Yes.”
Alkaline Trio: www.alkalinetrio.com