The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told (Cover Artwork)

The Lawrence Arms

The Lawrence Arms: The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Greatest Story Ever Told (2003)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

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

I have a confession. Even though everyone surely thinks of me as some sort of punk rock expert, with musical knowledge dating back through the ages, I didn't really get into the Lawrence Arms until their recent Fat debut Apathy and Exhaustion. Sure, I did get most of the back catalog as tuition.
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I have a confession. Even though everyone surely thinks of me as some sort of punk rock expert, with musical knowledge dating back through the ages, I didn't really get into the Lawrence Arms until their recent Fat debut Apathy and Exhaustion. Sure, I did get most of the back catalog as tuition and rent permitted, but I'm late to the game. Nevertheless, I had no problem naming Apathy... as one of my favourite records of 2002 and a definite turning point for the guys who made it.

So here we are, a little over a year later since that release, and the Lawrence Arms - or as they are affectionately known, the Larry Arms - have a follow up. And since they spent a great deal of time impressing us with their song-writing on that record, they've decided to up the bar and impress us with their gigantic book-nerd brains.

For one thing, they decided to base some of the record on an old Russian novel by Mihail Bulgakov, and then peppered the remainder of the lyrics with literary and pop culture references, from the (original) Incredible Hulk to Salinger to Kafka. And lest we not pick up the references, they've packed them into a beautifully illustrated booklet, complete with annotations.

So, at this point, you're wondering if I'm stalling and talking about all this college boy stuff because the record is a horrendous disappointment or something. Well, thankfully, it's not in the least. In fact, it's probably one of the best straight up punk rock records in years.

Musically, the band isn't fundamentally different from prior outings, it's still a three piece, with bassist Bren and guitarist Chris alternating vocals while Neil keeps the drums going. The band plays a brand of punk rock which seems to be squarely rooted in the midwestern states, as much Husker Du as Ramones. Mid-tempo, melodic, but certainly not poppy, and with a healthy dose of grittiness and likely a larger dose of alcohol. Of course, a "Dear You"-era Jawbreaker comparison wouldn't be out of place either.

Their mixture of intelligence and self-depreciating humour is a pervasive presence in the music on the record. Whether it's Chris' soft vocals on "A Wishful Pupppeteer", or Bren's rapid fire delivery on "The March of the Elephants", every note seems intelligently placed. While it took longer for some of Bren's songs to grow on me - like the phenomenal "Alert the Audience!" or the raw vocals on "On With the Show", they're among my favourites now.

The band works with a simple formula, but manages to inject a great deal of heart and energy into it. While so many bands seem keen to avoid the "punk" moniker, describing themselves in all varieties of hyphenated words, it is incredible to hear a band that clearly knows that there is a great deal to wring from this genre, and consistently manages to push through every humdrum formula and burst through with yet another memorable record.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And DreamsOperation Ivy - Operation IvyNOFX - The DeclineAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch Fire

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hbwlons (October 27, 2012)

Best LA album

Thumbs (May 28, 2012)

Thumbs split.
(worst TLA album)

nocomply (November 18, 2011)

This album is great in many ways, but I think Oh! Calcutta! made a greater impact on modern punk rock.

blood-guts-punkrock (August 14, 2011)

An allround great album...ON WITH THE SHOW

thegleneral (June 5, 2011)

greatest achievement in concept albums of all time.

meholicj (June 13, 2010)

Fucking perfect album. One of my favorite punk cds...actually just one of my favorite albums.

Carlo_Cabinetti (July 25, 2009)

Loves it. Best 'Arms album. The infamous "You're gonna explooowde" line is the one I find myself singin most often too.

dd416 (February 4, 2009)

I love this.

scarysmurf (September 29, 2008)

I like.

VandelayIndustries (November 26, 2007)

Best Lawrence arms albums, one of my favorite albums in general. "take a pain kill lover or you're gunna explode" haha only bad spot on album, but atleast Brenden has admitted it sucks

i-hate-winnipeg (October 14, 2007)

oh my god. 'nuff said.

aaronsuspect (September 2, 2007)

Honestly, to me, this is the perfect album. I believe it cannot be topped. Ever. I'd be thinking way too hard right now to put my feelings into words, but I just thought I'd share my opinion. This music is perfect. I can feel every single song.

gbabyfunk (February 22, 2007)


I don't know. I just don't know. So many people are hailing this album as one of the best releases of the decade, but I just can't see why. This is the first album I've heard of the Larry Arms, and at first listen, I disliked any song that wasn't Brendan's, which was about every other song. I absolutely loved the break-neck speed of "On With The Show" and, my favorite TLA song of all time, "The March of the Elephants".

It's so obvious who wrote what song, the album jumps around so so so much. It's like listening to two different CD's, two different bands, even. I don't know how they wrote an album of such polar opposites. It's obvious I'm missing something, that everyone sees something brilliant that I don't see. But I've listened to this album so many times, and the songs written by the guitarist all sound so very similar (I swear I can hear the intro riff to "Drunk Mouth, Kitchen Smile" a million times throughout this album). I'm a musician, I certainly think I look into the music deeper than the next person, but the guitarist's (I forget his name) songs, simple riffs, and the lack of passion in his vocals just doesn't catch my ear at all.

If you couldn't tell already, I absolutely adore "Oh! Calcutta!", it has more of the songs that I described earlier that I love.

"The Greatest Story Ever Told" is a good album, but I don't understand why it's called one of the greatest releases of the decade. I wish I did.

david_arquette (December 30, 2006)

This is one of the greatest albums ever created in the history of the world.

coltonlloyd (November 18, 2006)

no reason this shouldn't have gotten a 10/10

GlassPipeMurder (November 14, 2006)

Brilliant. A close second to Apathy and Exhaustion.

abracadaver (August 10, 2006)

One of the most definitve records of all time.

coldwaffles (August 9, 2006)

I can't stress how much I love this album. It's next to changed my life.

peaceonmars (June 8, 2006)

I like these guys!

damnitsderek (May 31, 2006)

Best ever.

colin (May 23, 2006)

the best lawrence arms release

probably one of the best releases of the decade

kill_FFTL (May 10, 2006)

nothing can get better then this

Coldwaffles (April 23, 2006)

This album is perfect.

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)


Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

I like this album because it has alot more Chris than Brendan, which is considerate for people who prefer Chris (consider Bren always outways Chris, song-amount-wise). With that said, I love Chris' voice but I think Brendan writes more varied songs, that is, Chris' songs kinda sound the same after a while. Still, amazing album, but not my favourite.

Anonymous (March 16, 2006)

Ingenious album with a cohesive element. This was the first album that I picked up from them and certainly remains my favorite from them. Oh! Calcutta! on the otherhand... well that's for another review.

charliemonster (February 3, 2006)

that title ain't a lie.
the lawrence arms' best work to date. brendan and chris keep their respective songs separated, and it still fucking rules.
not so optimistic about "Oh Calcutta". :(

Anonymous (December 30, 2005)

this album fucking blows away everything ever done.. this guys are the shit, awesome lyrics,music,live perfromance, cant wait to hera oh! calcutta!

Godfather (October 6, 2005)

i may still be drunk but these guys remind me a bit of the ol jets to brazil

Anonymous (August 8, 2005)

"If you stare to long, it all becomes a blur, and it's easy to forget just who you are. Don't stare too long. Take a look around."

--Strung Out

someone-yeah (July 19, 2005)

Honestly, I like this album alot more than Apathy & Exhaustion.

But jesus brenden's songs all feel like their are on speed compared to chris's

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

The Lawrence Arms = fuckin awesome punk rock music filled with the meaningful lyrics

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

actually, those are the lyrics.

Anonymous (January 13, 2005)

actually those are not the lyrics. go open up your lyric booklet and learn.

Anonymous (December 20, 2004)

"Good friend, how loud do you want life to shout her answer in your ear..." - Chapter 13: The Hero Appears

Amazing song.

Anonymous (December 18, 2004)

"I dare you to find any punk rock band within the last 5 years (other than the Alkaline Trio, and Bad Religion doesn't count), that can come close to the lyrics of the Lawrence Arms"

Easily Strung Out.

Anonymous (October 6, 2004)

this album is like no other and i difintely can't see myself without it in the future, and everyone who hasn't heard this album(shame on you) needs too.

this whole album is a story that you will play over and over like a fairytale that you never want to end

and i can't believe anyone could have made anything that great, this album is too amazing.


Anonymous (October 6, 2004)

this album is like no other and i difintely can't see myself without it in the future, and everyone who hasn't heard this album(shame on you) needs too.

this whole album is a story that you will play over and over like a fairytale that you never want to end

and i can't believe anyone could have made anything that great, this album is too amazing.


Anonymous (June 22, 2004)

I like this band and I think t's cool that they try to play other things and not only the same fucking melodi core! really cool record

Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

this album fucking rocks. anyone who could possible think otherwise is deaf, plain and simple. i dont like it quite as much as apathy and exhaustion, but shit it still blows away 95% of anything else that could possibly be labeled "punk".

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

"My favorite band, my favorite release of 2003. I dare you to find any punk rock band within the last 5 years (other than the Alkaline Trio, and Bad Religion doesn't count), that can come close to the lyrics of the Lawrence Arms."

Thrice. much better. no contest.

Anonymous (March 26, 2004)

I think this album's pretty sweet. Lawrence Arms are a truly great band. I'm not gonna bother arguing about it though. Cause there's no fucking point.

Anonymous (February 25, 2004)

My favorite band, my favorite release of 2003. I dare you to find any punk rock band within the last 5 years (other than the Alkaline Trio, and Bad Religion doesn't count), that can come close to the lyrics of the Lawrence Arms.

Anonymous (February 5, 2004)

fuck all you wankers who hate this album. And well done to the guy who can`t afford the album. Your living like a true punk

this album rules

Anonymous (January 24, 2004)

Lunk said: "only 2 weeks to go 'till i can afford to buy this. "
1.Who cares
2.You're earning peanuts

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

I still don't see what all the hype about this band is.
They aren't anything special at all.
Just another mediocore punk band that isn't great but doesn't suck.
There are way too many of them around these days.

captaincrackhead (October 22, 2003)

the greatest story ever told by one of the worst "punk" bands ever. man this album sucks

Anonymous (October 20, 2003)

i cant stop listening to the song "the revisionist" so damn catchy


Anonymous (October 17, 2003)

absolutely brilliant cd. as with apathy, it takes a few full listens to really appreciate the sheer rockocity of it all. honestly, when i first heard this cd, i was disappointed... chris's songs seemed bland, and brendan's didn't seem to special. but after about 3 spins, i might like this one even more than apathy... the smart lyrics combined with music that actually conveys emotion and atmospehere is just amazing.


Anonymous (September 30, 2003)

apathy and exhastion was arguably my favorite release of '02. this one i have mixed feelings about. its good. but, if it wasnt for apathy... i wouldnt be nearly as impressed, if this was my first impression of the band i mean. bad english there sorry. anyway, i think chirs' songs are better on this one, same style, a little more musically adventurous ie. more parts to the songs besides standard ababcb song structure and more 'sensitive' singing, better singing. so his half of the cd i like more than his songs on apathy.

unfortunately, i like brendens songs better. i liked every song by brenden on the last cd more than any single one of chri's songs. that said, i'm disappointed w/ brens songs this time out. 'on w/ the show' is great, as is track 13. however, his other 4 songs are all too short and not developed into what they coulda been, they all show promise, and then end around the 2 minute mark. no one bren song on this album is as good as any of his on the last album in my opinion. and the cd just seems to brief. brens lyrics arent as good as on the last one either i think. but what do i know. 7.5 overall. i'd give apathy a 10

Lunk (September 30, 2003)

wow. i just bought this today. i've listened to it through half a dozen times and all i can say is... what a disappointment. i was really looking forward to this, and what do i find but a bunch of poppy, re-hashed songs from their previous releases masquerading as new shit. how offspring is that?

ElVaquero (September 29, 2003)

mmm... crack

Anonymous (September 29, 2003)

I'm a clown and i'm choking on blood, teeth and toungue.
Fuck the spectators, fuck the "he was so young"
Fuck forced sympathy through lifeless glass eyes,
Povichian voyeurs drinking my cries.
Fuck faced trilobites waiting to die.
I can't stand the humor, and i can't stand the lies.

Thats what I'm fuckin talkin about

love Barkley

8dollarclarinetsolo (September 29, 2003)

this cd gets better and better over time

Lunk (September 29, 2003)

plus it's hard to find cash to spend on music when you're nursing a four grand a day crack habit.

Lunk (September 29, 2003)

no, i'm not twelve, i'm twenty-two. but give me a break, i'm a student. i have to pay student union fees, transport, HECS, and buy textbooks. after five years of that, any purchase has to be planned. but this morning i just came into a bit of cash, so i'm going to buy it tomorrow before work. yeeeehaw.

ElVaquero (September 28, 2003)

damn you all, i'm the one who's supposed to be the larry arms fanboy here. ah, fuck it, i'm too lazy. yay loc.

Anonymous (September 28, 2003)

Pretty damned good... A few problematic choruses, but an ace album in my book. Speaking of all these people who are talking about best modern punk bands, I'd say that The Good Leftover Crack will kill you all.


Anonymous (September 28, 2003)

how the heck could you not afford it?

are you like 12 years old or just really poor?

Lunk (September 28, 2003)

this score is for my anticipation...
Light Breathing (me and martha plimpton in a fancy elevator) is the best LA song ever. if this album has anything even approaching the quality of that song, i'll be a happy man. only 2 weeks to go 'till i can afford to buy this. can' fucking wait.

Anonymous (September 27, 2003)


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Anonymous (September 27, 2003)


Anonymous (September 27, 2003)


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Anonymous (September 27, 2003)


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Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

The guitar break in "fireflies" is worth the 10 stars alone.


Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

Anybody hear the Larry Arms radio broadcast last nite? I was at the No Use show in town. Man that band still has it together even tho they've been playing the same set for 4 years now. I still dig the heavier shit ala Exit from "Leche Con Carne"

Love Barkley

P.s I kinda like the poppy no use shit 2 tho, ala "International You Day." Its sickeningly poppy but I still like it for some reason.

Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

The Greatest Story Ever Told is quite possibly the Greatest Album Ever Heard.

Apathy and Exhaustion was amazing, I didn't think they could follow that one up with something as good, but guess what, this might even be better.

Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

to the person below.. just let them have their dumb opinion.. its them who are missing out anyway

Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

alrite once again, im still not understanding how people liking a band/cd can honestly piss you off. we're going to do a test to help you, read the following statement until youre not pissed off enough to comment... you follow?.. here goes..

"i like the lawrence arms and this is a good cd"

regardless of your view on this cd, that statement should not piss you off.. and if it does keep trying, because soon enough peoples opinions wont piss you off. I HAVE FAITH IN YOU BIG BOY!!

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

this album sucks. so soft and poppy and lame. if you think this is a great album youre an idiot. im sorry. give me ghost stories over this shit anyday. i also have no clue why everyone is so amazing by this cd. the lawrence arms have been using the same song/riff structure forever. its nothing new, its the old crap popped up.

Manman (September 26, 2003)

Unlike the anonymous predecessors of this comment, I have to disagree. These guys manage to both suck and blow at the same time. I am not sure if it is physically possible, but these guys sure managed to do the impossible. Lawrence should have his arms dismembered for this insult to my intelligence. It is like they think they can get away with this stuff. Lousy losers!

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

damn, the Larry Arms review is no longer at the top. Now fewer and fewer people will comment in here. Anyone know of a good punk music message board?

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

If that's really Matt Allison I've always wanted to tell you that I really liked the much rawer older A3 recordings more. Don't get me wrong I like it all, but the old goddamit era recordings made the band sound much different. Not that you care probably. I don't know why but I had to tell you...Ok, I'm an idiot.

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

i talked to rob when colossal hit NYC. there's possiblity of a Tuesday album but it's real slim. matt, dan, and rob are all busy doing their own shit so hopefully sometime in the future they can sit down together for a week and do new Tuesday material.

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Rob Kellenberger (drummer for tuesday) is also playing for Duvall. I know there were plans of a Tuesday reunion but I think those are now in the toilet, unfortunately. Rob, Dan, and Matt have incredible chemistry.

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

the drummer from Colossal (he was in Tuesday) said that if Dan has time off from Alk3, that Tuesday would make another album.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

I would be the happiest man alive if Tuesday would get back together. Dan needs to get smart and quit Alkaline Trio.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

"freewheelin'" is an amazing cd...tuesday should definitely put out a new cd...and then tour with the lawrence arms...that would be so insanely great.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

'I'm praying every day for Alk3 to sign to fat and return to true punk rock form...'

nope, im thinkin tuesday might put out another album..

and yea...'There goes the neighborhood (right thurr)' is such a good song.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

"i love how some peoples love for a band (mine for LA) actually pisses people off!! (everyone who's posting about how they suck) its the wierdest thing to me, i mean think about it.. honestly. Because they don't understand them, or its just not their thing, they get pissed off ....."

that is fucking bullshit. although i am a huge lawrence arms fan also, i completely disagree. i hate good charlotte, sevendust, creed, and i hate everyone that listens to them. i know it is a generalization but it is probably 98% true that if you listen to new found glory you are a complete numbskull.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)


all I do is sit around my room hit bongs and play along to "Jersey's Best Dancers, None More Black, and this new Larry Arms. My life is great

Love Barkley

P.P.P.S I suck

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Lawrence Arms Top 12 (havent heard the new one but it would be too soon to include it anyways)

1.chicago is burning
2.there goes the neighborhood
3.100 resolutions
4.an evening of extraordinary circumstances
5."oh mexico way"
6."DUI again"
7.Quincentuple your money
8.light breathing
9.a guided tour of chicago
10.the north side, the l & l and any number of crappy appartments
11.a toast
12.ghost stories

boba_fett (September 25, 2003)

this album is tight. enough said.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

I'm praying every day for Alk3 to sign to fat and return to true punk rock form...

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Comeback Kid and Paint it black should be in the top ten of the year..and i have the new Love Me Destroyer (it owns, by the way) and I'm gonna have to say it tops this album for me..even though I like the Arms a lot...

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

to the people who are saying theyll sign to a major i cant predict the future but bren said in an interview (at punkbands.com) that before apathy they recieved many offers from majors but refused them to go to fat. so yea..

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

i love how some peoples love for a band (mine for LA) actually pisses people off!! (everyone who's posting about how they suck) its the wierdest thing to me, i mean think about it.. honestly. Because they don't understand them, or its just not their thing, they get pissed off that people like them, so they try and post to change peoples minds. Save your stupid opinion for the review of a good charlotte album...
"step away from your fucking screen, see a world outside your scene."

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Don't hate the player hate the game... ya stinkin hater!

Love Barkley

P.S Lawrence Arms will not be on dreamworks by April. But thanks for coming out. If you are in fact hellbent on them signing to Dreamworks, why not dish out some reasoning behind this prediction. You seemed to be fairly well informed?

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

can someone please get me the link to the news story about Justin Sane falling into the hole on stage. That would be great. Thanks.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Fat is a 100 percent indepedently owned label. It is also run as such. Some labels do appear to be independent when in fact their playing corporate couple with one of the majors (Epitaph). This is not the case with Fat. They have lost three bands to majors (Face To Face, Less Than Jake, and Rise Against) in over ten years. That shows you how well they treat their core bands, many of whom have had offers from majors. Fat personifies the DIY attitude lost on such labels as Vagrant, Victory, and yes Epitaph.

And Larry Arms will be on Dreamworks by April.

Larry Arms Hater

TahoeJeff (September 25, 2003)

to whoever said fatwreck was a major..you are an idiot.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

I hope Larry Arms signs to a major. Then I can buy their next record for 9.99 (Canadian) like I did Thrice or Afi. No offense to Fatwreck or anything. What do they care, they have None More Black. (yes I have been spinning "File Under Black" frequently) it rules. As for the alk3 signing to fat, I'm just waiting for the announcement. Who knows? Alk3 signed to fat already once on this site.

Love Barkley

P.s I've also been listening to Kid Dynamite's "Shorter Faster Louder" goddamn its good

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Fuck you asshole!!!! larry arms rule!!!!

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

"you just can't fuckin convince me that the Lawrence Arms are half as good as anyone says they are"

No one is trying to convince you.

and no, I don't see Larry Arms going to a major. They really aren't even that popular.

Alkaline Trio on the other hand will most likely sign to a major for their next album. Either that or they'll move to Fat.

ElVaquero (September 25, 2003)

The Beltones WERE the top street-punk group around for a few years and still hold a special place in all of our hearts, whether we know it or not. I don't think I could reccomend the band more, definitely in my Top 5 Groups of the past 5-10 years. Weep weep weep. Write a review.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

shut the fuck up asshole, lawrence arms rocks hard.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

The Street Dogs album is, of course, excellent. But why the fuck is the label selling it on their site for $16.98? Who the fuck are they, Sam Goody?


Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

dumbass, fat wreck is a major

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Awesome cd, don't think it tops Streetlight Manifesto but it's up there.

Anyone get the Street Dogs album?

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Very, very average. This band will be on a major within a year.

captaincrackhead (September 25, 2003)

I don't know what it is, no matter how hard I try I cannot get into any of their music, you just can't fuckin convince me that the Lawrence Arms are half as good as anyone says they are, I was hoping this album would be better than their last one I wasted ten bucks on, they're still not any good.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

who are the beltones?

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

man, the atari gaming system has just came out out with a flight simulater. Well thats weird.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

I haven;t heard this yet... but I want it. Bad.

Anyone want a review of the Beltones last show? If I get a response I might quit being such a lazy bastard and write one.

(No classes Thursday = time!)

TahoeJeff (September 24, 2003)

This is holding a spot in my top 10 of the year... So far these albums have secured spots..in no particular order

1. Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told
2. Inspection 12 - Get Rad
3. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Streetcore
4. Avenged Sevenfold - Waking the Fallen
5. Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
and we'll see who gets the other 5..wait I almost forgot the Bouncing Souls Achors Aweigh..so I got 4 more spots..Its a close race though

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Oh and about epitaph well, the only good new bands that brett has signed recently are the weakerthans and motion city soundtrack, the rest is either mediocre or garbage

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

This is a strange example of just how big of a Larry Arms geek I am. On their official site, they named the winners of their "design a Lawrence Arms T-shirt." Anyways, for one of the winners, entry #73, Chris described it as "two guys on Rollers with a kick ass old west font" I have this exact shirt. I bought it in July. The moral of the story is that these contest winners submitted designs that have yet to be printed to this day. Weird

Love Barkley

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Don't have it yet, so I can't say whether it's album of the year material

So far I'd say my top two contenders are Lagwagon and Good Riddance, how you ask? Well because i listen to them the most, which means i obviously like them the most

50 cent is in a close third

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Against Me will have a hard time topping this for record of the year. NIce work guys.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

This isn't terible, but it doesn't have near as much energy and emotion as ghost stories, guided tour and the split. The lawrence arms are capable of a lot better than this.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Just got the record. It rulz, 10 stars for sure.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

This is album of the year. Great stuff.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

I don't get why everyone is blowing there loads about this band, they have talent but there is better out there

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

I'm matt allison. I just shit my pants. I like laurence arms. they good. meow meow.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

For the record, I did not write the comment below. While I agree with the sentiment, I'm afraid I could never be as creative with grammar as the odd fellow that wrote it.

Matt Allison

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

i agree, john k samson is close, but no one can top brendan kelly for writing

-el vaquero

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

hello kiddies, im glad you enjoyed the album some of you, my name is matt and yes ive been going around some reviews of the larry arms and what not, ive produced a ton of chicago bands, and i must tell you this album still blows my mind, you kids can't argue with the lyrics, no band that i can think of at this present date in time can compare to the lyrics that bren and chris deliver. there punk rock legends in my mine with the ashes of tricky dick and the broadways, we will leave out slapstick cuz in the words of bren that was just pure shit, ska is silly lets move on. larry arms are the best pure rock group to this date

toma (September 24, 2003)

"They have a a tiny little blurb on the Lawrence Arms in the new Spin magazine. They called them emo with pop punk leanings or something, and then compared them to Sum 41."

what a great way to make a decent band sound like crap!

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Good disc. Cool booklet. They've done better.
Best Tracks: March of the Elephants, The Raw and Searing Flesh, The Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure.
TLA album ranks:
1) The splits (tied)-8
2) Apathy and Exhaustion-7
3) The Greatest Story Ever Told-7
4) Ghost Stories-6
5) A Guided Tour of Chicago-5
I get alot of shit from my friends about MY OPINION of AGTOC being their worst, but it just is. Crappy recording, Brendan sings all the songs. Alot sound the same. But it's still a decent album.

applecore (September 24, 2003)

Not sure if you snagged the memo earlier but Slapstick, the ska-punk band out of Illinois broke up, Chief.

applecore (September 24, 2003)

I don't know what the fuck is going on.

b-rad (September 24, 2003)

"they've decided to up the bar and impress us with their gigantic book-nerd brains. " you've obviously never heard of the broadways. and by the way, brendan is NOT in slapstick anymore! good friends, and one of the best band going right now.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

I can't wait to hear this album. Lawrence arms are great.
The first time I ever heard the broadways I thought "hey, one guy sounds like Blake from Jawbreaker, one sounds like Jeff Ott, and Brendan still sounds like Brendan from Slapstick." But thats great in my book.

Nonsense (September 23, 2003)

They have a a tiny little blurb on the Lawrence Arms in the new Spin magazine. They called them emo with pop punk leanings or something, and then compared them to Sum 41.

I'll probably buy this sooner than later, but I'm in no hurry.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Aw come on, where's "Old Mexico Way" on your list?

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

i think it's chris that sounds like blake, not bren.

album of the year for me

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

haters to the side, y'all. The Larrys are like a joke on you: either you get it or you don't. Either way, you diss the Arms, you diss yourself!

notfeelingcreative (September 23, 2003)

Why didn't they invite blake to sing on this album? Why should they? Bren already sound enough like him, but yeah I prefer Jawbreaker myself!

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

To the person that said that this has been done before by Samiam: Wrong!
This sounds nothing like Samiam.

Top 5 of 03 for me.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Point of clarification: the new A7X album is called "Waking the Fallen", NOT "Walking the Fallen" as posted below.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled lives...

judo (September 23, 2003)

got this today.

forgot it at home and am at work kicking my self in the ass for doing so.

ElVaquero (September 23, 2003)

Overall, I think that Apathy and Exhaustion is a little better than this, but I blame that album for significantly effecting my life. Bastards. I'm not even going to compare this to pre-AaE Larry's, cause it's just stupid, since it's all so incredible and varied. There are a lot of fucking incredible songs on this album, but I don't think Chris should have had as many songs on this as he does. Sure, he's great and all, but I don't think he has Brendan's diversity of writing and style to carry an entire album by himself, let alone half. I want more Neil songs, 106 South is still real good, don't forget that. Now that the greatness and shortcomings of this album have been defined.. on to some other points.

1. Fat Wreck is a great label.

2. Division of Laura Lee are pretty damn good, actually.

3. Genres are for pussies.

4. The Master and Margarita is a really great book, but I still think it's funny that all the references had to be mentioned in this review for everyone to start saying that these dudes are really fucking smart. They've been doing that shit since the beginning.

5. Larry Arms Top 12:

1. Quincentuple Your Money
2. Boatless Booze Cruise (Part 1)
3. Light Breathing (Me And Martha Plimpton In A Fancy Elevator)
4. Fire Flies
5. The Disaster March
6. 3AM QVC Shopping Hangover
7. A Guided Tour Of Chicago
8. A Boring Story
9. Nebraska
10. Hey, What Time Is "Pensacola: Wings Of Gold" On Anyways?
11. Right As Rain (Part 2)
12. Navigating The Windward Passage

-El Vaquero
ah... go listen to the broadways

jimmyarndt (September 23, 2003)

someone said something about five iron frenzy....thats funny.....because that band is a fucking joke. christian ska can get bent.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Okay, whoever buys that cheese metal instead of the glorious Larry Arms is fucking bonkers. For real. Fuck Tower and go to an indie store and buy a real CD: TLA.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I went to go buy this cd today but Tower records couldn't find it so I got the new Avenged Sevenfold instead.......buy that cd right now!!! Avenged Sevenfold-Walking the Fallen

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Ok the Larry Arms obviously have some talent, and the references they use sound super cool. But the first time I heard the Larry Arms I thought it was Samiam. So my buddy and I {who he had never heard of Samiam} found one of my old records of Samiam and put it on at the same time as the Larry Arms song that he showed me. Well from there we just about shit our pants because it was the biggest ripoff I have ever heard of my life.
Sorry I don't have which tunes it was. But anyways I do respect the Larry Arms and I hope the new record fulfills the hype that everyone has for it. But it has been done before.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

too bad that when i saw them they absolutly sucked live,
the first thought that came to mind was "fatwreck signed this band?!!" and we all know that fatwreck really isn't that great of a label, they sound like cool guys though , and their songs are way better on cd, I'm going to take a listen to this.....

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Since a new record would probably be too soon next year, I hope they at least get a split out or something. I need my Larry Arms fix every year.

inagreendase (September 23, 2003)

i want some more links to amazon.com

There we go!

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Excellent review! But it STILL doesn't do the LA's justice. This band deserves loads more credit, and this record is surely one of this year's best. Props to the Arms.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

its not bad, but kind of redundant and as one guy put it 'overwrought'. not going to let you down if you buy it, but probably won't get that many listens down the road.


8dollarclarinetsolo (September 23, 2003)

i knew this would be awesome, bought this today at lunch even though i had one coming in the mail cause i couldnt wait... the first listen gave me mixed feelings, but the more i listen to it the better it gets. one of my complaints about "apathy" was that many of the songs sounded very similar, and this definetely fixes that.. it will take a little more getting used to, bren's songs particularly seemed a little weird at first, but i think the best cds are like that. it reminds me a lot of ghost stories which was my previous favorite. i think this is the cd that really lives up to their potential, i really do. it sounds a little different, but it is so blatanly lawrence arms, i.e. the footnote thing. i remember an interview from the first cd where brendan said he steals so many of the lyrics for his songs, like "these are the people in your neighborhood" from sesame street, but talking about homeless people, a great metaphor really, i could go on talking about this for hours, i need to let it sink in -more to come

SOYBOMB (September 23, 2003)

Incredible CD.

Oh how I love Lawrence Arms...


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Why didn't they just invite Blake to sing on this lop of shit. Seemingly well-crafted, It's completely overwrought. I piss on this record.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I didn't get into them until recently cuz i got them confused with division of laura lee, and division of laura lee blows horribly so

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

"Lawrence Arms in my book are the best Punk Rock band going."

they're in competition with grabass cahrlestons for "best band to wake up with a hangover." but i heard "march of the elephants" and "on with the show" live and sounded great. so hopefully i pick this album ASAP.


TheMarc (September 23, 2003)

I love that Five Iron song. I also love the Lawrence Arms. Hell, I love everyone! Even you, BSD!

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

amazing, again, see them live!

i-type-poorly (September 23, 2003)

the Five Iron Frenzy song > this album.

They should call the cd the biggest shit ever taken.

i really hate this band.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Slapstick is still continuing to make its mark.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)



(The above score is for the Q-Man!)

KirbyPuckett (September 23, 2003)

Quagmire says it best...

"Heh, Heh, Alriiiight!"

Lawrence Arms in my book are the best Punk Rock band going.

- Scott
(Why not me?)

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Right next to the new Weakerthans for album of the year. The lyrics are so good, witty, depressing,and dark, all wrapped up with a shitload of cultural refrences. I love this band.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Holy shit this is great

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

does Best Buy have this cd?

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I got this yesterday and I must say it's fucking great. Best thing they have put out in my opinion. Maybe it's just me, but I wish there were some more fast songs on here. I guess I just prefer Brendens voice over Chris's.

Machoman (September 23, 2003)

good review Aubin. As i knew would be the case this album does not live up to Apathy and exhaustion.. but then not many albums do. Solid songs... with consistently incredible lyrics, but not as catchy/anthemy as A & E. To the fella below who said larry arms are pop punk, I must disagree and whilst conceeding they are not your usual hard hitting punkers, i like to think they are in a genre all of their own. The Larry arms own. yep, and i prefer their faster ones than their slow ones.

Hulka (September 23, 2003)

for those of y'all who read, "The Master and Margarita" is a really excellent book (especially in the translation that's linked to in the review). I have a whole new respect for the Larry Arms.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)


punky (September 23, 2003)

Aubin, I respect you and all, but "it's probably one of the best straight up punk rock records in years. " just pissed me off.

Lunk (September 23, 2003)

i can't fucking wait.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

While reading the review, i was thinking 'Aubin probably wrote this'. Sure enough, i was right. i CANNOT wait to pick up this album on the way to class tomorrow..hell.. i may end up not going, so i can relax and listen to it play over and over..

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Sorry that comment below was intended for Story Of the Year!

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Wow, The singer from Goldfinger discovers yet another crappy screamo
band that he can get signed and produce.

This shit makes The Used look talented!

hungryjoe (September 23, 2003)

One of the few punk bands I care about nowadays. I really like this band and album, which is no small feat, considering I think maxed out my capacity for FAT-style music a year or two ago.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Aubin your review brought a tear to my eye. Beautifully done my friend. I obviously went with a ten on this one..

Barkley"Loves the new Larry Arms"Barkster

KarlHungus (September 23, 2003)

Yes, this record is delicious. I strongly suggest you pick this up.


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)


5 stars.

Easily album of the year.

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