The Lawrence Arms
Skeleton Coast


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale USER (10 Reviews)
July 27th, 2020 | 70 replies


Release Date: 07/17/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There is no past, there is no future, now i’m free to live at last

Chicago’s The Lawrence Arms stand as one of modern punk’s finest acts. Their trio of releases in the early to mid 2000s, including the classic Oh! Calcutta! are some the finest albums in the genre in recent decades. Since that era, the band’s output has slowed down. There was a sizable time gap before the arrival of 2014’s Metropole, which was a controversial album among listeners. Metropole saw the band compromise their signature melodic but raw-edged punk sound by simultaneously moving towards pop-punk on some tracks and towards a mellow folk tinge on others. This wasn’t universally popular (although for the record, I loved it).

The band was again silent on the new release front for years after Metropole until now, with the release of their seventh LP, Skeleton Coast. The latest album sees the band return to a large degree to their traditional sound. All of TLA’s renowned strengths are present: great, often witty, lyrics, catchy guitar work, and the dual vocals of Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan. The release is short and sweet, 14 songs all over in under 35 minutes. This is an extremely enjoyable album with great replay value, albeit with a few somewhat forgettable songs. Highlights like “Ghostwriter” and “Lose Control” match up well with some of the band’s best tunes.

While Metropole was dominated by meditations on mortality and loss of youth, Skeleton Coast sees the band trying to move on from these concerns (as the very first lines of the album, quoted in the summary above, seem to imply). The lyrical focus here is rather diverse, although the band’s signature tenuous balancing of careless nonchalance and crippling longing for the past makes a regular appearance.

All in all, Skeleton Coast is another strong release by a beloved band. This one comes highly recommended for TLA’s fans, and anyone who enjoys the melodic fringe of punk which they have helped to inspire and influence.



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user ratings (94)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
July 27th 2020


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album has been out for too long without a review, I figured I'd take one for the team

Minushuman24
July 27th 2020


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quiet Storm is so good. I dig this album quite a bit, but was let down by the lack of songs featuring dual vocals. Still a solid entry for this legend of a band.

hel9000
July 27th 2020


615 Comments


nice sunny!
i enjoy this, but i can’t really think of anything on here that i didn’t get on Greatest Story or Calcutta. it’s really solid but i would throw either of those on over this any day.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2020


26016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

for some reason their past work never clicked with me too hard but I LOVE this album. definitely need to revisit their discog again now that I'm sold on them

Digging: Disavowed - Revocation of the Fallen

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2020


1713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

honestly wish brendan would just stop singing lol

Minushuman24
July 27th 2020


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whaaaat Brendan is what makes Lawrence Arms

Sunnyvale
July 27th 2020


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks helperoni! I do agree this isn't the band's best album, but I still think it's a very high caliber effort.



@Atari, I would definitely suggest revisiting Oh! Calcutta!, that album took forever to fully hit me, but it grew and grew

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2020


26016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

If Brendan is the vocalist who sings Pta I'm gonna have to disagree hard with that assessment, Chan ;)



cheers Sunnyvale, good to know that one's a grower

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2020


10314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Absolutely cannot stand how it's every single alternating track that has a different vocalist, it makes this album so boring and predictable

Digging: sprain - As Lost Through Collision

Joeman82
July 27th 2020


1349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn I was about to type this up, but from the perspective of a newbie cuz this is my first by them. This album was so good I ended up jamming the rest of their discography and I’m in love rn.

Sunnyvale
July 28th 2020


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@JoeMan82, sorry to steal your thunder! A second review isn't a bad thing though...

Joeman82
July 28th 2020


1349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It’s cool I’ll probably just grab another project. Great review and a pos.

ian b
July 28th 2020


930 Comments


so far not bad at all, hopefully i'll dig the rest of this

AtTheGates92
July 28th 2020


71 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I gave this a listen, then Oh! Calcutta! for comparison. I much prefer the energy on the latter.



SlothcoreSam
July 28th 2020


2502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely prefer the dual vocals, it's the Ying and Yang of a great Pop Punk band.

Albums ranked

1. Calcutta

2. Apathy and exhaustion

3. Greatest Story Ever Told

4. Metropole, only this high because of the verse from Seventeener. It resonated with me hard. Plus the film clip is dope.

" And yesterday I woke up to find,

The black in my beard had turn to white.

And the pretty girls that used to smile at me,

Just stared off straight ahead or looked down at their feet."

5. This, might overtake Metropole

6. The Broadways- Broken Star

7. Ghost Stories

8. Guided tour of Chicago



Disclaimer, I haven't listened to ghost stories or Guided Tour enough.

Digging: Blood Cultures - Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs

Satellite
July 28th 2020


26472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Calcutta

Greatest Story

Cocktails & Dreams

This

Apathy

Metropole

Ghost Stores

Guided Tour

SlothcoreSam
July 28th 2020


2502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I forgot Cocktails and Dreams, great B side album, I'll slide that in at number 4.

Minushuman24
July 28th 2020


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to do a full discography run but Calcutta and apathy are 1 & 2

Minushuman24
July 28th 2020


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The only record I haven’t jammed yet is metropole (double post)

Minushuman24
July 28th 2020


4175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I tripled posted

But ghost stories is their worst for sure



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