The Lawrence Arms are back with another full-length album called Skeleton Coast. This Chicago, Illinois based trio delivers profoundly melodic punk rock for more than two decades, and they established a recognizable sound, which became quite popular among punk rockers. That is eventually the case with Skeleton Coast, but the album delivers a subtle dosage of eerie ambiance through their compositions. Somehow this material perfectly aligns with current circumstances across the globe, but that’s wasn’t the group intention at all. Skeleton Coast paints imagery of the nearly dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where humankind is not at the top of the food chain, and nature takes all the power back.
The lyrics are written from a very personal perspective, like a slightly defeatist, nihilistic, depressive poetry, but with so much sense considering the current events. The group initiates imminent closure of the world we all know through all the possible scenarios, but the constant presence of melancholy is hearable on each one of them. These compositions are covering thematics such as life, death, love, relations, politics, various situations, events, and circumstances. However, the entire material carries more than a hearable melancholic ambiance that defines the Skeleton Coast in its entirety. Each track conveys a meaningful message that vividly depicts the current theme, and the musical background appropriately supports these thematics.
The group changed the recording routine, so instead of being loyal to the local studios in the Chicago area, they decided to record Skeleton Coast at Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas. The Lawrence Arms spent two weeks working hard on this record, and the effort unquestionably paid off. Perhaps the Skeleton Coast serves as a proper continuation of their previous records, but this material offers an eerie vibe unlike any other release from their comprehensive discography. The lead vocal duties of both Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan offer enough diversities through every following number, like sequences leading to another story. Thoughtfully composed chord progressions are accomodating the unavoidable presence of a melancholy showcased through meaningful lyrics. Each tone delivered through profoundly melodic segments is more than hearable and offers such delightful moments to those who’re into punk rock sound.
The enormously dynamic rhythm section is one of the main qualities of The Lawrence Arms. There’s something about how Brendan Kelly and Neil Hennesy are operating together throughout each recording, and that’s the case on this one as well. This band works out fine as a trio, mainly because they’re composing the songs according to their current formation. Each instrument is equally hearable during the entire recording, with a slight accentuation on compelling vocals. For those who somehow missed their career until now, you can expect loads of great melodic punk rock moments, soaked in hearable explorations into pop-punk and indie sound. Skeleton Coast offers more than plain and simple punk rock. The group unintentionally nailed with themes that are depicting the possible outcome of the current events across the globe. Their music has always carried loads of details, but it seems they went a step further with this particular album.
Skeleton Coast is available for purchase on regular black vinyl and compact disc at Epitaph Records web store. However, you may grab this masterpiece alongside with appropriate shirt or separately. Don’t miss this one out.