LAWRENCE ARMS, THE: Oh! Calcutta!: CD

It’s been a good four years since I really listened to any output from this band. It was the Apathy & Exhaustion LP and I remember liking it enough to keep it. Doing a little research, since it seemed odd that I haven’t heard anything in four years, they did release something a couple of years ago. This band seems to have matured greatly. The songs and the tones coming from their instruments have a deeper emotion to them. The time that they have now been together has really made them into one cohesive unit. I’m not an Against Me! fan, but that is what it sounds like to me but mixed with a little Hot Water Music and adding a more melodic touch to the songs. The delivery is strong, and I can feel the conviction of the band. Looking at the liner notes, they recorded the songs on analog. I thought that the songs had stronger tone than what usually comes out of the studios that are recorded on the computer with ProTools. The bass tones are warmer and the highs are less harsh. Also, if you have recorded in analog, you know you have to be dead-on when recording. There is less room for error. So these guys were well rehearsed when they went in to record. It shows. They may not be one of the larger bands of the genre, but they are definitely one of the better ones.

 –don (FAT)