Album #189: The Lawrence Arms – Skeleton Coast

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Label: Epitaph
  • Best Track: Dead Man’s Coat

“Oh yeah, The Lawrence Arms,” I thought, when I saw they had an album out on Friday, kind of like when an old school friend brings up a classmate you’d forgotten about. TLA are one of a number of bands from the circa-2000 Epitaph/Fat Wreck punk scene that was my go-to music choice at the time, but I probably haven’t thought about for the last 10 years.

Reassuringly, the punk band with a name that sounds like a pub are not much different to how I remember them, although their songwriting and voices have perhaps matured a little since party anthems like ‘Porno and Snuff Films‘. On new album Skeleton Coast, the theme has morphed more into seafaring.

It’s not entirely expected that the 14 tracks on this new album are a little samey. It’s perhaps a sign of my age that I prefer the sadder and more reflective tracks like ‘Lose Control’ and ‘Dead Man’s Coat’ that portray a band audibly aging. Elsewhere, it’s enjoyable enough throughout, without too many tracks really screaming “anthem” at you.

A good ride overall, and nice to catch up with a name from my youth.

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