"I'm Only Here To Disappoint"
April 02, 2013 - Epitaph
Throughout the course of Alkaline Trio’s 15-plus years of making music, the band have taken a surprising amount of risks, incorporating different production techniques, synths and myriad takes on songwriting, regardless of the finished product. Basically, they’ve never been afraid to make a bad record. But with My Shame Is True, they’ve done something much worse: They made a boring record. The album starts off strong with the fun, loose, straightforward “She Lied To The FBI,” and the fast-paced “I Wanna Be A Warhol” has a great chorus—but not much else. Shame then settles into a repetitious rut. Many of Matt Skiba’s vocal melodies are repeated wholesale from previous Trio records (“Midnight Blue”), and his lyrics have become near-parodies at this point (“Until Death Do Us Part”). Thank heaven for Dan Andriano, who contributes four great tracks, including the positively pissed off “I, Pessimist” (featuring Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath) and the accusatory, bitter “I’m Only Here To Disappoint”—a reminder the bassist/vocalist can still write hate songs as good as his love songs. As for Skiba, though, it seems like he’s saving his best material for his various side projects. As such, My Shame Is True winds up feeling like white noise more than anything else.