The Lawrence Arms
Skeleton Coast
Epitaph Records


So what could you get done in 21 years? When these 3 men first played in a band together as the Lawrence Arms, blogs were unknown but epitaph records were in full flight. Here they are 7 albums later, same line up and still masters of their craft. 

Vocalist duties are shared with the more rasping faster songs been taking by bassist Brendan Kelly. The majority though are sung by guitarist  Chris MacCaughan. It is a tuneful mix throughout. 

I’ve listened over and over again and am trying to figure out just what type of journey I’m being brought on. It’s a world of fire and wolves and forests. With ships in the background spitting out the tunes. The songs catch you in that rock punk style. 

Chris has stated that he wanted the records opener to be like Crimpshrine and so quiet storm certainly storms ahead but not quietly. Thankfully as they scream “I’m free to live at last”
Brendan takes over vocal duties for songs like PTA, Pigeons and spies, How to Rot and Belly of the Whale and spits out songs about Planes Trains and automobiles and looking for your place in the world. Which is something many of us have been doing over the last year. 

A real Stand out for me is Dead Mans Coat with its prominent bass riff throughout as the guitar meanders along not so much strumming chords as trying to find its way through to the bass. “Change is all we have on the road ahead”. While it’s not an overtly political album you know where the Lawrence arms politics lie. Under Paris speaks of a world that has burned due to climate disaster. They don’t need to be overt about it, I know whose side they are 

In just over 30 minutes the album is done and dusted. Both sides, 15 crafted songs don’t feel like a short sharp shock but in many ways it is. Its final chorus hears the band sing “Rewind, I was the hero of another time.  Now who am I. The writer of a story line”. The whole record finishes with Chris singing “I watch this world burn down” but we know he doesn’t want it to finish this way. Roll on the next part  

There is introspection, hope, sing alongs and ultimately joy as we all try and figure out a way forward. 

niallhope

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