Sound — 9
For anyone unfamiliar with this band, this is a great album to check out. Formed out of the breakup of several Chicago bands, The Lawrence Arms really start to shine with their unique sound on this release. The album opens with a brief acoustic intro, and right into The Raw and Searing Flesh, sung by Chris. Chris's songs generally seem to have a slower, and more melodic sound to them with lyrics to be more self reflected. On With The Show is the track that really opens the album up, with it's fast pace, and lyrics typical to that of the Lawrence Arms. The songs alertante back and forth between Chris and Brendan doing vocals. As stated, Chris sings softer, and slower, while Brendans songs are fast, and energetic. Alert the Audience is another great track, with the lyrics tying into pop culture. The standout tracks on this album are On With the Show, The Ramblin Boys of Pleasure, and The Disaster March.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics range from anything to everything. Chris's songs seem more self focused and personal, as Brendan's seem more about fun, and tie in stuff from old tv shows and books. Chris has the softer and melodic voice, which does seem to make his songs sound the same however. Brendan seems to have a greater range, and has a very disticnt voice that is a combination of screaming, years of alcohol and cigarette abuse.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a very strong outing from The Lawrence Arms. It stands up strong, but falls short only to Oh! Calcutta!. The songs that really seem to stand out as far as lyrics and sound are A Wishful Puppeteer, The Disaster March, and Alert the Audience!. If your a fan of the Lawrence Arms, you'll love this album. The faster songs are the strong points, while, Chris's slower songs get very repetative because he sings them the same. This is still a very good album and a good pick if your just getting into them.