June 20, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Credit Alkaline Trio’s gray Midwestern origins (the band has since relocated to pop-punk mecca Berkeley, Calif.) for their refreshingly morbid take on the sunny-side-up genre typified by erstwhile tourmates blink-182. Good Mourning, AT’s fourth album, spews enough speed, hooks, and sick puns –”Donner Party” manages successfully to equate tragic cannibals with broken hearts — to sate the most ADD-afflicted appetite for distraction. At a time when most emo-core blandly follows a mall-rat-shallow blueprint, Alkaline Trio provide some much-needed counterpoint. Black humor never sounded so sweet.

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