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Alkaline Trio are a punk band hailing from McHenry, Illinois, United States who formed in 1996. Since their debut in 1998 they have become one of the most critically acclaimed acts in modern punk and command one of the biggest cult fan-bases in American rock as a whole.
Guitarist and singer Matt Skiba, bassist and singer Rob Doran and drummer Glenn Porter came together in the Illinois suburb of McHenry to form the original incarnation of Alkaline Trio in December 1996. They got as far as recording and releasing their debut E.P “Sundials” in 1997 before Doran departed to focus on a career in visual arts. However, the E.P was a hit in the Chicago underground scene, and soon after Doran left, Dan Andriano joined to fill the void. With Andriano on board, the band were able to sign with Asian Man Records, as he was already signed to the label with his band Tuesday.
They released a second E.P in 1998 entitled “For Your Lungs Only” and in the same year came “Godamnit”, their debut album which is considered by many to be their absolute peak. Their second effort, “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire” came in 2000 and was enough of a big deal to secure them a record deal with Vagrant Records, making them label mates with The Get Up Kids, Dashboard Confessional and Saves The Day. On that label they released 2001’s “From Here To Infirmary” which, along with the band’s first genuine hit single “Stupid Kid”, was a major success for the band due to the way it unwittingly rode the waves of the burgeoning mainstream acceptance of Emo rock.
This was despite the fact that Trio had always had an absolutely jet-black sense of humour to their lyrics; this should have put them completely at odds with the blindingly sincere likes of Jimmy Eat World and Saves The Day. Instead, however, it saw their subsequent album, 2003’s “Good Mourning” sell 40’000 copies in its first week, chart at number 20 on the Billboard album charts, and give the band their second hit single in the form of “We Had Enough”. By the mid-2000’s the band had become one of the most acclaimed rock acts of the time, selling out clubs and concert halls the country over and playing to an absolutely devoted following.
Very little has changed ever since then, they’ve settled into the role of punk rock elder statesmen with aplomb, and have released stellar album after stellar album in the years after that. They should be an inspiration for punk bands the world over, and are still in the peak of their powers as I type. Highly recommended.