JAM Magazine CD Review

January , 2014
Review by Mark McConville

The Lawrence Arms


Label: Epitaph Records

The Lawrence Arms is a legendary outfit. They've been pounding the musical bell with their gritty sound since 1999. A respected band, they return with Metropole, an album that keeps their powerful sound ticking over. Lyrically it's magical and enchanting, if you want to be a gutter poet, take note.

Metropole is a record that will keep you alert, it has that grainy sound. It delivers that true punk rock feeling, that feeling of just committing to something worthwhile, something artistic and spontaneous. You will listen on, totally submerging yourself in the punk spirit, clashing with your self awareness, falling over a few beer bottles. Getting drunk to this genre is okay, I mean, just do it, let yourself go!

Metropole starts with "Chilean District." The song opens with a great riff starts with clapping and cheering, then a drumbeat cuts through the commotion. The little, creative, riff makes this song beam, it's a convincing start. "You Are Here" has that punk aura attached to its ribs, it commences with a perfect riff then the vocals pounce, offering lyrics that are drenched in a gritty tone.

"Beautiful Things" is a song that starts with those sincere vocals from front man Brendan Kelly. His voice is unique and it blasts through without losing tone or urgency, he has a style and prowess that is original. The band really have vigour and statements to tell. "Acheron River" begins with softness and sincerity. There is empathy contained. It then flies in with s simple but emphatic riff, cornering off any subtlety.

"Drunk Tweets" sounds like one of those old school punk songs that highlight rawness and intention, it's a boisterous song, that features lyrics that describe the hazardous life. "Never Fade Away" commences with a quick fired riff. These songs all point out life and its upheavals and downfalls. I get the feeling that this record is a plea, a plea for clearness and clarity.

The Lawrence Arms have submerged profoundly into their pot of inspiration and have grafted and crafted a record filled with raw lyrics and honesty. Let's all bask in that punk spirit.