"So go plug in your electric blanket.. We can stay in 'till our southern summer wedding day'
2003 subtly saw Alkaline Trio's fourth album come into the light. With 'From Here To Infirmary' proving to be the bands most successful release at the time, 'Good Mourning' certainly had to cater to those ambitious expectations and promise, tenfold as they had to introduce a new member of the band - Drummer, Derek Grant. Somehow though, it seemed to go under the radar of many critics, magazines and websites, escaping any hype, disappointment or critique of any kind. In due course though, GM started to get its sound heard thanks to an official music video for one song and standard single release for another. For me, I was a bumbling 13 year old ready to be influenced by a greater wealth of sound, finding my way in the world of rock music, with only a couple of AT songs under my belt in 'Private Eye' & 'Stupid Kid' - both singles from FHTI. A blind purchase of GM however proved to be one of the luckiest and appreciative gambits I'd ever made concerning music. That's not to say the album caters exclusively to teenagers, nearly ten years later and I still find selections of its songs in my playlists, along with one of my all time favourite songs...
"I don't blame you for walking away, I'd do the same if I saw me. I swear it's not contagious, swear to God it's not contagious.."
3 seconds into 'This Could Be Love' is fresh and surprising due to the use of a 2nd guitar in the introduction (They're called Alkaline Trio
for a reason). It's melody, dark and sinister on only 3 chords, manages a sturdy, palm muted version during the verses where vocalist Matt Skiba recalls his disgustingly sadistic and heartfelt affections in a gentlemanly mannar with "I touch myself at thoughts of flames, I sh*t the bed, I laid there in it, thinking of you, wide awake for days". With each verse, the guitar gains more snap, crackle & pop than rice crispies down to its sweet pull offs and rhythmic breaks. In classic Trio style, the chorus brightly picks up a gorgeously happy tone, using a new set of 3 chords, whilst detailing their maddening violent escapades - "Step 1, slit my throat, step 2, play in my blood. Step 3, cover me in dirty sheets and run laughing out of the house. Step 4, stop at lake Michigan and rinse your crimson hands - You took me hostage and made your demands, I couldn't meet em so you cut off my fingers - one by one". Bassist Dan Andriano holds the notes of the 'steps' with a resolute richness as he echoes the backing vocals. It's only until the end where the pace gets a kick up the jacksey, bells ring out like it were Christmas and Derek Grant attempts to snap both wrists with intense drum rolls. Despite the songs imaginative content, I normally find a sickening urge to sing along to the troubling lyrics. 'We've Had Enough' continues the speed where track 1 left off, keeping the church bells too. "That said, we've had enough, please turn that f*cking radio off.