Across 2 decades, 8 albums, and a multitude of singles, splits, and EPs, Alkaline Trio has built a reputation as a defining act in punk rock's modern era. Formed in Chicago by vocalist-guitarist Matt Skiba in 1996, the band would come into its own with its debut Goddammit in 1998. Since then, the group has continually evolved, incorporating new influences with each record while achieving artistic, critical, and commercial success along the way. It's been 5 years since Alkaline Trio released their last album, My Shame Is True. In that time, they've toured the world and sold over a million records. Dan Andriano and drummer Derek Grant both released solo albums wile Skiba joined blink-182 for the chart-topping California.
Alkaline Trio's ninth studio release, Is This Thing Cursed? was produced and mixed by Cameron Webb and serves as the group's first album written almost entirely in the studio. It's when the songs began to really come together that the band noticed the new material forming parallels with 2000's Maybe I'll Catch Fire. According to Alkaline Trio, Is This Thing Cursed? is a cousin or sibling to Maybe I'll Catch Fire. Andriano explains, "the songwriting process is almost like what it was back in the day. We would just kind of write a song, be excited about it, then move on. We wrote in that spirit in the studio. I really feel like we made a record that the old school fans are going to dig."