In the last fifteen years, the highly acclaimed singer/songwriter for Alkaline trio has recorded eight full-length albums with the band. Renown for wearing his heart on his sleeve, and an icon in alternative rock which he helped to build, Matt Skiba has now taken time away from Trio to work on his debut solo album, “Babylon” with AFI’s Hunter Burgan on bass and My Chemical Romance’s Jarrod Alexander on drums, together they make: Matt Skiba And The Sekrets.
The debut from Skiba hit the shelves on May 8th, and goes by the name of “Babylon”, and in comparison to earlier EPs, it’s a lot more dynamic and more anthemic. With ‘You Didn’t Feel A Thing’ and ‘Good Fucking Bye’ being the just a few favourites off that EP, the transition between their debut and EP is vast, but it highlights that one things that Skiba possesses that other artists merely lack: the ability to change, and make it sound good.
With their Demo tracks being more acoustic, tranquil and heart felt, this album kicks off to an explosive start with their track ‘Voices’ which is highly anthemic, with melodic guitars and punky beats. This song may be about schizophrenia and darkness with the lyrics “in the darkness you walk hand in hand with the living dead” it still has this upbeat feel to it.
The two tracks ‘All Fall Down’ and ‘Haven’t You’ are two gems on this album, which flow from one song to the next with ease as the transition never changes. With those loud, locomotive guitars blasting out through the speakers and the up beat drums, these are perfect summer songs. Only slowing it down for a second at the beginning of ‘Haven’t You’ which sets up the booming choruses which blare out heartwarming lyrics.
‘Angel of Deaf’ is the final epic ballad that closes the album with one final, heart clenching acoustic piece. Each song is as effortlessly put together as the next, with not a weak limb in it’s entire body.
Skiba describes this album best:
“Working as part of a group is great, but it’s a democracy. You hear something in your head and play it, then the other guys comment and you compromise. That’s what being in a band is about. I wanted to create that music in my head – not a dissected and altered version of it.”
Even though this is a solo project, with different musicians, it still sounds like Alkaline Trio, so those long time devoted fans of Trio will not be disappointed. And fortunately for us, it doesn’t sound like My Chemical Romance or AFI. Definitely an album worth purchasing this summer.