Published Jan 27, 2014The return of the Lawrence Arms couldn't be better timed. The Chicago band hit the studio just as dozens of the groups they've influenced are uploading their latest melodic punk masterpieces to Bandcamp. But on Metropole, their first full-length in eight years, the Lawrence Arms sound like a band with nothing to prove.
Not that the group are resting on their laurels; rather, the trio have settled into their mid-30s with grace, penning songs that take a wistful approach to their younger years without pining for the past. The speedy rage of 2006's Oh! Calcutta! is replaced by big, chiming guitars that wouldn't be out of place on a Springsteen record. But dad-rock this ain't. Songwriters Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan are in peak form and are far too self-aware to fall into that old trap; they know better than to chase capricious youth.
Instead of trying to show up "the kids," the Lawrence Arms age with dignity, pointing the way forward so that, hopefully, no one has to embarrass themselves in the future. (Epitaph)