The Lawrence Arms

Buttsweat And Tears

Written by: PP on 25/10/2009 20:49:13

Midwestern punks The Lawrence Arms are turning ten years old and can look back at five excellent full lengths and a couple of great EPs with pride. They're one of those Fat Wreck Chords punk bands that consistently release great stuff and seem to be unable to write a bad song even if they tried, and as such are much loved by pretty much the entire punk scene. To celebrate their anniversary, the band is putting out their first ever 7 inch called "Buttsweat And Tears", which they actually came up with when the band started. Staying true to their original ideas, the title and the artwork are precisely the same as was planned back in the day. Do note however that this release is also available digitally and that version has a fifth track in the form of "Demons" that's not on the vinyl version.

So it has been three long years without any new The Lawrence Arms material, so how have the band spent their time other than touring, of course? Pretty damn well if you are to judge by the five songs on offer. "Spit Shining" kicks things off with the quintessential The Lawrence Arms sound: reasonably high speed melodic guitar work reflecting the 'midwestern punk' sound that bands like Banner Pilot and Dillinger Four also sport (in fact, they were probably heavily influenced by these boys), and the explosive whiskey drenched dual vocals that take you through some infectiously catchy choruses and verses. Yeah, the songs are basic three chord punk rock, but I'll be damned if it isn't some of the finest music of its kind. "The Slowest Drink At The Saddest Bar On The Snowiest Day In The Greatest City" (yeah, it's a mouthful) is a great example of their strengths, featuring heartfelt lyrics and ultra-catchy melodies. But things get even better on "Them Angels Been Talkin'", easily the best track on the CD. The pedal's floored as you can hear the band pouring their hearts into the song both vocally and instrumentally. This song should be fairly high on your 'best Lawrence Arms songs' list.

The extra track "Demons" is a bit of a weaker track, but even when The Lawrence Arms are at their worst, they're still better than the majority of the scene. "The Redness In The West" finishes things off with a slightly unusual sound to the band, as the track sounds like it could've been on The Gaslight Anthem's "The '59 Sound", but even here the band explodes into their own sound towards the end. In its essence, "Buttsweat & Tears" is a great display of straightforward punk rock filled with high energy and raw emotion throughout. Punk fans, don't miss out.


Download: Them Angels Been Talkin'
For the fans of: Banner Pilot, Dillinger Four, The Gaslight Anthem
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.10.2009
Fat Wreck Chords

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