The Lawrence Arms
Metropole


2.5
average

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (83 Reviews)
January 24th, 2014 | 51 replies | 4,676 views


Release Date: 01/28/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The ramblin' boys of pleasure stumble home at a pathetic pace.

About three and a half years ago The Lawrence Arms put out an EP entitled Buttsweat and Tears. This release showcased a more mature, but still very punk rock The Lawrence Arms, a band that was not afraid to slow things down, sing in a calmer and lower register, and complicate their songwriting a bit. I viewed this EP at the time as a sampler for what was to come with the band's forthcoming sixth studio album Metropole. Unfortunately The Lawrence Arms instead made a lifeless, boring, and worst of all, forgettable album that fails to utilize any of the newfound qualities the band had developed just a few years ago with Buttsweat and Tears.

One of the biggest strengths The Lawrence Arms have employed over the years has been the band's ability to create a flowing and cohesive album despite having two songwriters with differing styles and voices. Metropole vehemently bucks this trend as it feels more like a Speakerboxxx/The Love Below type situation where b-sides from Chris McCaughan and Brendan Kelly's solo projects were repurposed into a Lawrence Arms record, likely because they felt obligated to put out a new album after an eight year absence. The second track "You Are Here" sounds like it could have been written as an acoustic Sundowner track, but it at least sort of fits in as a Lawrence Arms song in its current form. This is not the case with "The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic" which doesn't even try to disguise itself as anything other than a Brendan Kelly solo track, featuring his signature lyric and vocal style that he employs almost exclusively in his solo project. Metropole's lifeless and forgettable tracks far outweigh its sparse standout tracks, and the lack of voice or concept prevents any sort of engagement with the songs or the album as a whole.

Metropole really starts to lose me around the last third of the record, and I can recall on several occasions spacing out towards the end, almost to a point of falling asleep. The record ends with a whimper and a few seconds of white noise, and then the opener to Oh! Calcutta! starts playing on my itunes and I'm instantly elated and reminded what a proper Lawrence Arms album sounds like. Comparisons aren't really fair, but listening to one of the band's strongest efforts right after listening to Metropole just reinforces my belief that The Lawrence Arms simply don't have it any more. Metropole doesn't have the bite of previous records, nor does it have the attitude, the fluidity, the clear voice, and most importantly the catchiness of previous records. It's hard to make a relevant album after a five-plus year absence, I understand that, but A Wilhelm Scream proved how very possible that is just a few months ago with their comeback album Partycrasher. It saddens me to say it, but Metropole is The Lawrence Arms weakest album to date, and is average at best considering the quality of records similar bands have been putting out recently.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My Lawrence Arms discog review series is once again complete

Wow am I disappointed with this one

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah it's great

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

BigHans
January 24th 2014



26455 Comments


Treb have you even heard of Latterman?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hey I'm the Larry Arms expert here

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah Hans I dig Latterman hard

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review DESPITE being wrong

BigHans
January 24th 2014



26455 Comments


yeah Hans I dig Latterman hard


^ Good, cause No Matter Where We Go is the best album ever

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Stream here:

http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/the_lawrence_arms_stream_new_album_metropole

dimsim3478
January 24th 2014



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As2F_rPw0Ck

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^Like I was saying about Lawrence Arms influenced bands putting out way better records recently

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2014



5923 Comments


Omg your dig treb

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I hate myself so much that I dig average things

tom79
January 25th 2014



3347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well I think it's pretty sweet. It's a more subdued album than Calcutta sure, but I don't think its a
bad thing. Found myself enjoying it more the second time around.

edit: bumping my rating, I keep coming back to this. 'beautiful things' is up there among my favorite
larry arms tunes.

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Stray Dog Town

Scoot
January 25th 2014



17486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

will probably end up being my most disappointing record of '14

such a shame

buttsweat still rules

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2014



48559 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Most disappointing album since Four by Bloc Party for me

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
January 26th 2014



6963 Comments


dull record, the last was anything but

Digging: Perfume Genius - Learning

SonofSnow
January 28th 2014



650 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually dig this.

pmmets07
January 28th 2014



5784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah i really really like this album. catchy as fuuuu

Bouncingsoul
January 28th 2014



19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This may be one of the best punkrock albums I've heard in a very long time. So honest, so pure, so well thought out, and the lyrics are top notch. It's a grower for sure, but when it clicks, it's just perfection. 4,5 for me.

dimsim3478
January 28th 2014



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So honest, so pure, so well thought out, and the lyrics are top notch. It's a grower for sure, but when it clicks, it's just perfection.

This HARD. I couldn't give it a 4.5, but it's a high 4 for sure. Thanks for bringing up the average, btw.



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