Review: Alkaline Trio / One Man Army

Alkaline Trio / One Man Army
“BYO Split Series, Volume V”
(BYO Records)

Yes.  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.  I went to go see Alkaline Trio and NOFX on Thursday for the thing and they played some ripping songs that I’d never heard before and hinted at a split that was coming out soon, and what should arrive in the mail the very next day?  You guessed it; I am the luckiest guy in the world.  Matt Skiba’s harried voice has never sounded so pleadingly honest, so resolutely abandoned.  “Hating Every Minute” and “Sadie” follow in the tortured footsteps of past hits “Radio” and “Hell Yes”, infusing the world-weary view of life and love with the self-destructiveness that makes them the superstars they are.  A smashing cover of The Damned’s “Wait for the Blackout” finishes up their six tracks with a bang-the final bits of reverb will leave you clamoring for the repeat button.  Not since The Misfits has heartbreak and death sounded so good.

OMA follows up with six above-average tracks of their own, and even if they don’t measure up to the genius of the Trio, they are still street-punk with a twist and not to be missed.  “The TV Song” and “The Radio Airwaves Gave Me a Lobotomy” touch on the dangers of mainstream media and its uncanny knack of brainwashing those who fall into its clutches.