Let's Listen: The Punk Rocky Horror Show


"Over at the Frankenstein Place" by Alkaline Trio

Right. Now, if there's one thing we've learned so far, it's that translating a slowish, softish song into something fast-paced and loud means taking some serious liberties with the vocals. Does the Alkaline Trio learn from its predecessors? This one shaves mere seconds off of the original, so...it's not going to have that problem, apparently. That's weird. "Frankenstein Place" is one of the slowest songs in the original. I figured it'd be one of the faster tracks here. Ah, well. I'm not complaining.

The opening notes are practically verbatim. Huh.

The space between lines is about the same, too, and the singer here's got a really good voice (though I wasn't expecting a dude, honestly.) In fact, this doesn't seem to be doing anything new with the vocals besides perhaps making them less shrill. As I mentioned, there is such a thing as being too faithful, and this is especially the case in a genr--


The guitar picks up, and suddenly everything's punchier, more aggressive. I applaud this. Sometimes that's all you need. No need to overthink it. The vocals are still fairly flat, though. Not particularly engaging. Hell, the music overrides it to the point where I might as well be listening to the instrumental track. Don't get me wrong, I guess it meshes well, it's just sort of...meh. Not good, not bad. Just bland.

The music mellows back down for the Riff-Raff bit, which is appropriate, and it's very telling that the vocalist doesn't shift gears for this, instead just gaining an equally bland back-up singer.* Or echo. I can't tell.

I feel like fireworks should be going off whenever we hit the chorus. That is by far when the music takes the most risks, just revving it up for all it's got. Taking it to eleven, if you will.* The singer seems to be finally willing to do something now, but it's too little too late.

This one's problem is just the singer, really. He seems bored. Maybe he should've sat this one out.

As for comparing it to the old one, it's pretty much like comparing the classic Hawaii Five-O theme to the new one. And while the old one certainly suits the tone it's going for, the new one is what I'd prefer as background music.