By Tim Den
Even though my affection for Alkaline Trio over the years has been uneven at best, I can’t deny that Crimson sounds like the product of a band who are great at what they do. Nothing even remotely sounds amateur or half-assed. The performances, placement of hooks, and vocal phrasing are all blindingly confident. And, amazingly enough, the band have learned to reach beyond the meat-n-potatoes of punky pop to grasp at Hot Water Music’s current muse: All of punk’s urgency, all of pop’s redeeming qualities, none of the watering down. The two bands’ sharing of a split a few years back was all too prophetic.
And though I still maintain that the band doesn’t need mascara to earn more kudos, I understand the mechanics of commerce and will (sadly) keep those opinions to myself. Crimson, with eye make-up or not, is the best of punk and pop’s present and future. Chicago be proud.