Chicago's Alkaline Trio has never been shy about its desire for rock stardom.

Chicago's Alkaline Trio has never been shy about its desire for rock stardom. On its fourth proper album, the band sounds determined to break out of the pop-punk underground. Working with the Blink-182 production team of Jerry Finn and Joe McGrath, Good Mourning is a 12-song, 40-minute collection that continues to sharpen the band's melodies and amp up its choruses. The group screams its frustrations at being ignored by radio in the fist-pumping "We've Had Enough" and makes its case for airplay with the fire-alarm guitars and gleefully sadistic lyrics of "This Could Be Love." Tackling failed relationships, death, and all the masochism in between, Alkaline Trio has never sounded this confident. The arrangements are fuller, and such slightly slower numbers as "100 Stories" and "Every Thug Needs a Lady" fondly recall the aching melodies of the Windy City's Smoking Popes.—TM

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