The Lawrence Arms - You Are Here [single] (Cover Artwork)

The Lawrence Arms

The Lawrence Arms: You Are Here [single]You Are Here [single] (2013)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Here's an obvious statement: The Lawrence Arms are a tentpole band in this little section of the punk scene. If you're reading this, chances are good you either have a Lawrence Arms tattoo, have considered getting one or know someone who has one. They're an important, influential band to a lot of pe.

Here's an obvious statement: The Lawrence Arms are a tentpole band in this little section of the punk scene. If you're reading this, chances are good you either have a Lawrence Arms tattoo, have considered getting one or know someone who has one. They're an important, influential band to a lot of people, and what's happened as a result of said importance and influence is that in the nearly eight years since their last LP Oh! Calcutta!, too many bands have taken to blatantly and imprudently aping their sound with decidedly mixed results. There are now more bland melodic punk bands than ever before, and with the genre sorely needing an injection of energy, there's no band better suited to do it than the Lawrence Arms.

It's great to have them back. While Brendan Kelly, Chris McCaughan and Neil Hennessy have remained active independent of each other since Oh! Calcutta!, the trio's chemistry, both on record and in a live setting, is superior to anything they've musically achieved elsewhere. The band will look to reaffirm that chemistry with Metropole (out Jan. 28 via Epitaph) and if "You Are Here" is any indication, they're well on their way.

It's interesting and ultimately prudent that the band chose a McCaughan-fronted song to release first: Though he and Kelly made a point to "share" singing duties on most of Oh! Calcutta!'s 12 tracks, that album felt very Brendan-heavy in the vocal department, the two dominant personalities of the band coagulating somewhat. But that duality is part of what made the Lawrence Arms so great, and it's one of the biggest reasons why their music has affected so many people: Without Brendan's weathered-but-often-urgent snottiness, Chris' cleaner, more solemn voice would be off-balance and vice versa. Going back to that dual approach, as the band seem to be doing for Metropole, should be very good news for fans.

"You Are Here" is classic McCaughan and classic Lawrence Arms. His lyrics reek of longing introspection, as they often do, and Kelly's backup vocals in the chorus complement instead of dominate. The musicianship, often the most overlooked part of this band, is particularly strong: Hennessy's drumming is workmanlike, tightly-wound but not overly showy, and though the chord progressions are fairly straightforward, McCaughan throws in a few flashes, particularly around the chorus, that superfans and guitar nerds might grow to love.


People who liked this also liked:
The Wonder Years - Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm NothingNo Trigger - TycoonThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsBlink-182 - NeighborhoodsThe Flatliners - The Great AwakeThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Tigers Jaw - Tigers JawThe Flatliners - Dead LanguageThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Lawrence Arms - Metropole

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
martinnz09 (November 27, 2013)

Hey Hoover, here on punknews your opinion means nothing if you refer to the members of TLA as the guiatr layer and bass player. Use their first names or get out of here you unorg-ducated fool

lostcausegiveup (November 22, 2013)

Four and a half for me. Cannot goddamn wait....

sciulli (November 22, 2013)

you are so wrong Echos..... soooooooo wrong.

hooverstreet (November 21, 2013)

Boooo! The guitar player's voice is unremarkable. I'd rather hear more from The Falcon than songs like this. Hopefully the bass player gets more shine on the overall album.

EchosMyron (November 20, 2013)

This song is unfortunately totally average and devoid of any edginess or surprises. It was to be expected, though, what with the extremely long hiatus in productivity, and the band members now being way older and having releasing tons of softer, more conservative solo material. Christ, almost 8 full years will separate Metropole from Oh Calcutta! That's a wider gap than the one between their debut A Guided Tour of Chicago and Oh Calcutta!

I'm expecting this album to sound a lot like last year's disappointing Exister by HWM; a formerly energetic band that has lost most of its youthful magic plays it safe and writes an album that will appeal only to inexperienced 18-year-olds.

filbunke (November 20, 2013)

Really looking forward to this album.

According to Epitaph this is the tracklist:

01. Chilean District
02. You Are Here
03. Hickey Avenue
04. Seventeener (17th and 34th)
05. Beautiful Things
06. Acheron River
07. Metropole
08. Drunk Tweets
09. The YMCA Down the Street from the Clinic
10. Never Fade Away
11. Paradise Shitty
12. October Blood

If "Drunk Tweets" is not a Brendan-song i'll eat my shoes. On Spotify there's 3 additional songs.

13. These Pigs Seem To Be Getting The Best Of Me
14. Bonfire Park
15. The Profiteers

chri5topher (November 19, 2013)

...awesome!...I was hoping for one more chorus, but I guess it's always better to leave them wanting more.

sciulli (November 19, 2013)

the song is on Spotify if you'd like to throw a few cents to TLA.

I don't get the initial upset reaction over the production. Sounds like Larry Arms to me.

TibbsTastic (November 19, 2013)

Some of the comments on here are ridiculous! I think the track is great, and lets face it, Its gonna be a great record. Roll on January!

martinnz09 (November 18, 2013)

I couldnt be happier to have new TLA in my life.

Love the flow of this song and how it grows to the end with the repeated lines!

Today is a good day!

jeffw (November 18, 2013)

I'm as excited as the rest of you, but I seriously wish that this lyric video trend would die already.

telegraphrocks (November 18, 2013)

If TLA is such an important band, why don't you now the correct number of songs from their last LP?

Also, can we expect another 14 TLA reviews by the end of January? One for each song, right?

superskabro (November 18, 2013)

interesting. Not to most noteworthy song but then again, Chris' songs always took a while to grow on me whereas Brendan's grabbed me by the throat. I'm stoked to hear the whole record...

name (November 18, 2013)

am i the only one who's disappointed by this song? the lyrics kinda feel like a microsoft word autosummary of former chris songs...there's none of the detail that usually makes them so compelling, like in brick wall views or "the saddest drink..." i don't know, i'm hoping the next single is more dynamic

MN_DrNick (November 18, 2013)

Jesus that didn't take long for a review.

kursk64 (November 18, 2013)

Very promising. Big fan of this.

exitenglish1208 (November 18, 2013)

nice review! big fan of the song, i think this record will be great. i love oh calcutta but it would be cool if this record were more balanced in the vocal area, if this song is anything to go by it seems like it's heading that direction

bryne (November 18, 2013)

Thanks IllaZilla. Fixed!

IllaZilla (November 18, 2013)

Nice summation. I've been listening to this track all morning (got the download w/ the preorder). One correction: release date is 1/28, not 1/18.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go