I’ll admit it: Most of Alkaline Trio’s stuff leaves me cold. There’s usually just a few songs per album that I find myself really digging. That’s why I was so surprised by the first solo album from Dan Andiano, Alkaline Trio’s stalwart bass player.
“Hurricane Season” is terrific. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Colin Hay. It’s a collection of mostly acoustic love songs full of sadness and hope with lyrics that aren’t profound but, instead, resonate with honesty. Whether it’s the man waiting for his girl “to say to come home” or the lost lover crying that “it’s gonna rain all day” or Andriano himself, performing in Denver, “dying while [his] baby sleeps at home”. Andriano, both lyrically and with his amazing delivery, brings the reader into his own heartache.
Overall, the album feels like a mix of Americana, singer/songwriter folk-rock, and the occasional guitar solo. The electric songs are spaced out evenly, and seem to be used to provide texture. Without songs like “On Monday” and “Let Me In,” the album would feel almost too sad, too quiet, too depressing. These songs give the record a kick in the ass right when it’s needed.
And that’s the best thing about it: It’s a record. Remember those? Before everyone focused on singles and collected cover songs and music became disjointed and disposable, we had albums: Thematic compositions with carefully selected and arranged songs. This, my friends, is an album.
And a damn good one, at that.