The Lawrence Arms
Oh! Calcutta!


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (100 Reviews)
December 5th, 2012 | 53 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oh! Calcutta! represents the Chicago three piece at their best; There's nowhere to go but down from here folks

After the pop-punk masterpiece that was The Greatest Story Ever Told came out, every Larry Arms fan across the world wondered where would the band go next? Would they revert back to their more aggressive straight forward punk style? Or continue building on the extremely melodic and catchy sound of Greatest Story? Well they ended doing a bit of both, pleasing fans from both sides of the spectrum when crafting Oh! Calcutta! which is easily the band's most popular and beloved album.

The biggest change the band made when writing Oh! Calcutta! was to integrate the vocals of both singers into the tracks, instead of each singer sticking to their own songs like on previous records. The result of this experiment is a much fuller and enjoyable sound, with Chris and Brendan's vocals interplaying with each other beautifully. The vocals on this record range from taking turns on lead, singing together at the same time, and call and response type stuff akin to Paul's Boutique. The dual vocal attack on Oh! Calcutta! is an enriching experience and makes the record stand out from the band's other releases.

From the thunderous opening of "The Devil's Takin' Names," it's clear that Oh! Calcutta! has a considerably harder edge than the group's last record The Greatest Story Ever Told. What makes Oh! Calcutta! so special is its ability to retain the catchy nature of their last record while also having a heavier and more raw sound. Songs like "Cut It Up" and "Beyond The Embarrassing Style" are ferocious, yet catchy punk rock tunes that burn quickly on a short fuse in under two and a half minutes. The Lawrence Arms are certainly a band that don't mess around, with barely any of the 13 tracks surpassing the three minute mark. This quality is what makes The Lawrence Arms so great: their ability to say so much in such a short span.

Oh! Calcutta! currently stands as The Lawrence Arms' last released studio album and it's easy to see why; it's a hard act to follow. The Chicago three piece took pretty much every element that made them great over their last four albums and blended them together with a few new ingredients resulting in the band's melodic punk magnum opus. It's tough to say where the band is heading after a six year span with only an EP to show. but whatever they do, as long as it's anything like Oh! Calcutta! it will be magnificent.



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user ratings (331)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Joe Costa (4.5)
Oh! Calcutta! is nearly perfect in every way. If it only wasn't for two subpar tracks, the album co...

Julio Babilonia (4.5)
An album that excels in every aspect, Oh! Calcutta! represents the best of the band, and plays like ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2012


51325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good album

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2012


20556 Comments


Cool

Digging: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 in B? Minor

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2012


51325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh damn Troggy you done called me out

bungy
December 4th 2012


8899 Comments


SHALL WE DANCE

OR MAYBE JUST LIMP AROUND

YoYoMancuso
December 4th 2012


11441 Comments


these guys need to get back in the game. nice review, pos

Aids
December 4th 2012


24181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album but I'm still struggling to connect with it. It's not an album I often feel like listening to.

Digging: Hop Along - Painted Shut

DotEight
December 4th 2012


5649 Comments


Have a pos. Will check them out.

Spec
December 4th 2012


28437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah they're pretty good.

Lucid
December 4th 2012


7032 Comments


Great review. This album is pure exhilaration, punk-pop perfection.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2012


51325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks dude, oh man where's Satty

Aids
December 4th 2012


24181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

holy shit this is one of Lucidity's 5s? damn now I really need to spend more time with this. oh that reminds me that I need to spin that album by The Wrens again.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2012


4469 Comments


Good review, Trebor. POS'd.

Scoot
December 4th 2012


18119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing album

Scoot
December 4th 2012


18119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing album

ThunderNeutral21
December 4th 2012


3864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i tried to get into some of this bands stuff, i like this and really like the album before it, but everything before that was lame to me

bungy
December 5th 2012


8899 Comments


is there any hope for us
or are the rumors true
are we just the mulch and kindling that accrues

can we recover from thiiiiiiiisss??

DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN

"recovering the opposable thumb" gets me stoked

DrGonzo1937
December 5th 2012


9400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seen these guys live, a great band. Good album too.

DrGonzo1937
December 5th 2012


9400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review too man. Pos'd.

DrGonzo1937
December 5th 2012


9400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review too man. Pos'd.

Nikkolae
December 5th 2012


4917 Comments


The Devil's Takin' Names is like the best song ever.



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