The Lawrence Arms – Skeleton Coast

Skeleton Coast is the latest album from punk band The Lawrence Arms, with the album being another classic punk rock album that we reckon all fans of the genre should check out. It’s been quite a long wait since their previous release (6 years), but fans have nothing to worry about, as the wait has clearly been worthwhile!

By Jane Howkins

If you’re into this genre, then you should know what to expect already – fast guitar riffs, smart lyrics, and a frenetic burst of energy that you just can’t find anywhere else. The album was recorded in just 2 weeks in Texas, which is all the more surprising considering how tight the production is – it sounds great, and there are lots of little effects in the background that you won’t pick up until you’ve heard it a few times. This has also affected the vibe of the album, with there being something of a dark and mysterious feel to proceedings – fitting the desert theme very well.

The tracks change depending on who is singing (Chris McCaughan has the cleaner vocal style, whilst Brendan Kelly is more raspy), and whilst this reviewer did prefer the cleaner style, Brendan’s tracks are just as good, and his vocal style suits them. Chris’ tracks tend to be a little slower and poppier, whereas Kelly’s are often faster and harder, providing two different styles of punk for fans to listen to – this helps to change things up a little, especially in a genre that can sometimes be a little generic.

There’s something quite catchy about most of these tracks, with Ghostwriter featuring a short but snappy chorus that is almost addictive. We wouldn’t classify The Lawrence Arms as being pop-punk, but there are definitely moments of that sub-genre in here, and it’s good to hear a band that can cross the boundaries of genres like that. There isn’t much here to reinvent the genre, but that doesn’t really seem to be what the band are setting out to do, so it isn’t really too much of an issue.

Skeleton Coast is another classic album from The Lawrence Arms, and one that belongs in any punk rocker’s worthwhile music collection. Fans and newcomers to the band should find something to love here, so check it out now!