Monday, 19 July 2010

'Bless me dark father for I have sinned' by @diaryofaledger

Possibly the only album I ever bought purely on the basis of the cover From Here to Infirmary stands as one of my best impulse purchases ever.  Yeah it's balls out rock, but lyrically this is one of my favourite albums ever, the wry humour and story telling conjuring images of a washed up has been in a dirty, dark America.

It sort of works as a post break up album too.  Honestly if you've been through a bad one stick this on, skip to track four and bellow along with Matt Skiba.  Brilliant and anger personified, Stupid Kid just nails that 'I'm fed up to fuck of feeling low now so I'm gonna do pissed off instead,' feeling.
Remember when I said 'I love you,'?
Forget it, I take it back
I was just a stupid kid back then
I take back every word that I said
There's not much let up on Infirmary it just bowls along with great loose rift after great loose rift.  It's heavy but it's not a hard work album.  Punk rock (in the American sense), the tunes are easy enough to find, bands like Blink 182 must have heard this and thrown up.  It's everything their albums aren't.

The best albums always sound effortless.  Alkaline Trio don't make you struggle here, the album comes alive on first listen and just keeps giving.  Opening track Private Eye thunders Infirmary into life, a washed up Private Investigator, lost and alone and a bit pissed off or a bloke that just keep being cheated on?  You kind of have to decide for yourself.

The words though just kill me on album every time I put it on.  They sound worn and ground out by a lifetimes weight and expectation.   A mix of sex, angst, violence and humour that whilst sonically derivative still sounds original seven years after release.

Armageddon is like a band cutting lose and just having two and half minutes of fun, but listen to the words.  Dark and menacing, but hopelessly addictive and impossible not to sing along to.
Armageddon, let the light in
Before we say goodbye give us something to believe in   
Personal favourite is Bloodied Up.  Sort of a companion piece to Private Eye, although here it's much clearer that this is about another failed relationship.  But one where the protagonist of the song is the let down, the big disappointment, something he's well aware of.  It also contains one of my top ten lines from a song ever (that's another post right there AT).
You don't say much of anything
When questioned on your whereabouts, your whereabouts
And I just can't see through the evidence, it's evident
It's right fucking there in black and white and red

When the album came out it got accused by the critics of being a sell out and full of filler.  Seven years after I got it I don't see it and I'm still looking for the filler.  It's not a game changer but every type of music has bands and artists that lead the way in their given genre.  Alkaline Trio made an American Punk album that whilst tighter and less wild than it's predecessors far exceeds the likes of Green Day in the potency of the words.  The music is almost just there as a vessel for them, every track deserves your attention.

Final track Hell Yeah, is an nod to religion, celebrating the darker side of life in a raucous ending to the album.  Sort of a, 'Fuck you God,' it's a great finale to a great album that I could so easily have never bought.  Thank goodness for mad staring zombie eyes.
You gave up on me a long time ago
I can't say I blame you
I rejected the faith in your holy rays
Is what it comes down to
They said everything would work out just fine
I just went crazy
But I'm better now, having a good time
Being selfish and drunken and vulgar and lazy
Not that those words struck a chord seven years ago or anything...

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