When Alkaline Trio got its start in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, it probably had no intention of being an exemplar of emo, the brand of melodic punk that dared to talk about feelings. Nonetheless, the band's earnest songwriting and emotionally charged live shows struck a resonant chord with plenty of people leading lives of quiet desperation, those trapped in a mediocre existence, whether it was toiling in college or working yet another dead-end job. With early releases on Asian Man Records, Alkaline Trio eventually capitalized on its popularity by signing with a much higher-profile label, but in 2009, the group opted to put out its records on its own Heart & Skull imprint. The forthcoming Damnesia and its supporting tour commemorates the band's fifteenth year.
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