Crate Digging is a recurring feature that takes a deep dive into music history to turn up several albums all music fans should know. In this edition, Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba shares his list of 10 essential post-punk LPs.
Alkaline Trio have been going strong since 1996, but slowed down a bit during the seven-year period (2015 to 2022) that frontman Matt Skiba was in Blink-182. With that band’s classic lineup reunited, Alkaline Trio are back in full swing, having just released Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs, their first full-length album in nearly six years and 10th overall. Moreover, they’re gearing up to kick off North American tour later this month.
On the heels of that new LP and after 25-plus years in the game, we wanted to know what albums inspired him on his musical journey. While Alkaline Trio have been classified as punk rock, pop-punk, alt-rock, and emo over the years, it turns out Skiba’s experience growing up during post-punk’s ’80s heyday had a profound impact on his musical sensibilities.
Speaking with Consequence over email, Skiba offered up an exclusive list of 10 essential post-punk albums that greatly influenced him. From the “dark poetry and atonality” of PiL to the “so iconic and so beautiful” Siouxsie and the Banshees to how Talking Heads “out-punked the NYC punk scene,” the singer-guitarist cited some of the greatest bands in the genre.
See below for the 10 post-punk albums Matt Skiba thinks every music fan should own, along with his personal insight into each selection. Pick up Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs on vinyl here, and grab tickets to Alkaline Trio’s upcoming tour via Ticketmaster or StubHub.
PiL (Public Image Ltd) — First Issue
The first show I ever saw was PiL in 1989 at the Riviera in Chicago on their 9 tour, but it was the First Issue record that really changed things for me and for the punk genre. It was the first time I’d heard such a blend of dark poetry and atonality to create undeniable hooks. I believe that this album woke a lot of artists up to the possibilities of taking a very angular approach to the pop song.