The Lawrence Arms
Epitaph Records
Street: 01.28
The Lawrence Arms = Rancid + The Flatliners + Alkaline Trio
Keep in mind, diehards—it’s been eight long years since The Lawrence Arms released a full-length album. In that time, they were signed to Fat Wreck Chords and cultivated a sound similar to Dwarves. Now, through Epitaph, they have released an album that shows a more dynamic approach toward their music—they’ve really opened up and expanded on their style, using the technique of storytelling through songwriting. Songs like the title track, “The YMCA Down the Street from the Clinic” and “Paradise Shitty” do the album the most justice with slow-moving melodies combined with vivid lyrics, giving the album kind of an indie rock feel. They managed to fit in a throwback to their earlier sound with songs like “Drunk Tweets” and “Chilean District,” reminding fans that they haven’t lost their comedic edge or love for playing fast. As a comeback album, the new sound will surprise fans, but not so much that they won’t embrace it. –Eric U. Norris