Lawrence Arms, The The Greatest Story Ever Told
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The Lawrence Arms may not be the most original punk band, but that's not necessarily a terrible thing. The Lawrence Arms, or the Larry Arms as their fans like to refer to them as, has released a tremendous punk rock CD. It definitely improves over their last release on Fat Wreck Chords, Apathy and Exhaustion, showing growth in many aspects of their song writing and overall ability. I have been a fan of theirs for quite some time and I have come to count on that each release is a bit better and this holds true for their latest release.

What is rather enjoyable about The Lawrence Arms is the contrast of their two singers. Singer Brendan Kelly and his gravely ruff voice contrasts singer Chris softer more melodic voice. Overall, this system flows quite well together. Each song they sing really fits their own style of singing. Brendan with the faster songs and Chris with more of the softer and melodic songs. Some of the songs may make you think The Larry Arms are an emo band, but I can assure they are not; they just wear their heart on their sleeves.

This is Chicago punk at it's finest, with tremendous lyrics. And like I eluded to earlier, this album shows much improvement over their last release. A lot of individuals started to label them pop punk due to their softer sound. But listen to songs like Hesitation Station and you will realize this is some of The Larry Arms hardest stuff, and because of that Brendan sings lead on that track. But they still have some softer soft that Chris sings which complements the faster, harder stuff like The Revisionists. Which in my opinion is one of the best tracks, truly a very catchy and likable song. The lyrics are deep and meaningful and will have you reading throughout them trying to figure out synonyms and etc scattered through out them. What's even better is both Brendan and Chris provided footnotes to explain some of their lyrics. There are also various references to literature and pop culture, and somehow this all flows together. The best song on the CD would have to be Alert The Audience that's when both Chris and Brendan join forces to become an amazing vocalist team with a very catchy song.

2003 has been an excellent year for punk music overall. There has been several albums which could easily be album of they year and this is no exception. I really cannot find too much to complain about except I would of liked a few more songs. Not that the album is short, just that I love the overall flow and sound of this record so much a few more tracks would of made me even more ecstatic. From the acoustic opening to the acoustic closing this is one hell of a CD. It might not be the greatest story ever told, but it certainly one of 2003's best punk releases.

- - missionhockey

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