The Lawrence Arms
Chicago's Lawrence Arms are a gritty but clever punk rock three-piece that trace their beginnings back to 1999. Their involvement in bands and the punk scene goes back many years prior however, as the members were involved in Windy City mainstays Slapstick, The Broadways, and Baxter. The band takes it's name from a run-down building the members resided in called the Lawrence Arms, which was located in a very lower-class area of uptown Chicago. For the record, they were eventually evicted from the place in the middle of the night.
Their previous album, Oh! Calcutta!, came at a time when the stars had seemingly aligned and their presence was at an alltime high. Singer Brendan and his outspoken anti-Bush opinions had been all over TV this past year and he was even a feature interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He got off easy though and they only made fun of his tattoos.
The Lawrence Arms have done it again with 5 song EP titled "Buttsweat & Tears" hitting the streets on October 27th. The Midwestern power pop at its finest and they celebrate their 10 year anniversary to boot. Brendan Kelly, singer of The Lawrence Arms chose the title as he explains right here: "When my band, the Lawrence Arms, first started, we had this idea for a seven inch. We had the title picked out and we even knew what the cover was gonna be. We promised ourselves that our first seven inch would have this name and this cover. Well, we never did a seven inch (except for one that was part of a label series, which meant that the cover and the title were sort of more beholden to the big picture rather than our dumb ideas) and the whole thing kind of languished, and now, ten years later, in conjunction with our ten year anniversary show and subsequent west coast run (the first run in over 2 years), we've got our first real seven inch on our hands. And guess what? We fucking named it the name that we thought up ten years ago." The result was 5 songs that perfectly epitomize TLA's sound and once again flash the band's slightly askew sense of humor.
After a couple releases on Asian Man Records, The Lawrence Arms chose to work with Fat Wreck Chords from among several interested labels and released Apathy and Exhaustion in early 2002. Their Fat Wreck debut was recorded after 13 months of constant touring and is an aptly-titled product of a band that endured every mishap and triumph of an arduous tour. For over a year The Lawrence Arms lived on the road, and every bit of defiance, debauchery, and desperation, comes through on Apathy and Exhaustion. Their next sonic conquest came in the form of their second Fat full length, The Greatest Story Ever Told, an exalted title no doubt, but one that they managed to live up to. In typical Larry Arms fashion, the band waxes intellectual whilst making repeated tributes to American pop culture. No one is safe, and everyone from Kafka to the cast of Perfect Strangers play a part in The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Talking shit has long been The Lawrence Arms calling card. Especially onstage. Everyone from Dashboard Confessional to Joyce Carol Oates have fell victim to the band's drunken tirades. Some of their fans will tell you that their shows seem more like a celebrity roast... just without the subject in attendance. This new LP is no exception, and this time around it's Van's Warped Tour that bears the bullseye. Lyrics on their folky bonus track for example: These thieves in their flip-flops and bro attitudes are the very reason we do what we do, When I say "fuck the man", it's what I believe, No matter who that man happens to be." Ouch! What could possibly be the reason for such contempt? Maybe because they've been 86'd from the tour on account that they were shittalking the whole operation while they were playing it. Yeah, that'll do it.