CD Review: “Skeleton Coast” The Lawrence Arms

“Skeleton Coast”

The Lawrence Arms

Epitaph Records

Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Chicago Punk’s The Lawrence Arms are set to release their 6th studio album July 17th titled “Skeleton Coast”.  The album which is being released via Epitaph records contains elements of the band’s sound which fans have come to love for nearly two decades. Although it was written and recorded before the Corona virus upended the world, “Skeleton Coast” sounds eerily prescient as it imagines an apocalyptic future where coyotes croon and wolf packs roam free

Coming in at 35 minutes spread over 14 tracks the latest offering from veteran punks The Lawrence Arms provides an upbeat lift during uncertain times. Don’t let the upbeat rhythms fool you as the albums lyrical content cuts deeps leaving a lasting impression that will stick with listeners long after the closing notes ring out. Having caught these guys last year opening for Bad Religion I was anxious to hear what the group’s latest studio album had to offer. Upon first listen I was drawn to tracks like “Quiet Storm”, “Belly of the Whale” and “Last Last Words” which are all straight ahead rockers showcasing the dual vocals of guitarist Chris McCaughan and bassist Brendan Kelly. The mixture of McCaughn’s smoothness with Kelly’s gravelly more rough and tumble approach give the band a solid one, two punch while drummer Neil Hennessy delivers the knock-out blow. For listeners wanting something a little more aggressive and fitting of the worlds current climate check out tracks like “Planes Trains and Automobiles”, “Demon” and “Goblin Fox Hunt” as they will certainly kick up the angst level.  

“Skeleton Coast” checks nearly all the boxes fans of melodic punk will be looking for.  As the follow up to 2014’s “Metropole” the album showcases the bands continued growth over the past six years between while still staying true to the sound which has endeared them to fans since the late 90’s. You have to commend The Lawrence Arms along with the countless other bands who are still putting out new music despite the inability to tour and support that material for the remainder of 2020. When an album is as good as “Skeleton Coast” is, I hope to hear these tracks echoing through our hometown venues sooner than later.

Track Listing:

1.) Quiet Storm

2.) Planes Trains and Automobiles

3.) Belly of the Whale

4.) Dead Man’s Coat

5.) Pigeons and Spies

6.) Last Last Words

7.) Demon

8.) Ghostwriter

9.) How to Rot

10.) Under Paris

11.) Goblin Fox Hunt

12.) Lose Control

13.) Don’t Look At Me

14.) Coyote Crown

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