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Sundowner - Four One Five Two (Cover Artwork)

Sundowner

Sundowner: Four One Five TwoFour One Five Two (2007)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
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Those who felt Oh! Calcutta! had too little of Chris McCaughan can now shut up. Seriously. Sundowner, and this debut, Four One Five Two should be more than enough for fans of the Lawrence Arms' less snotty side. Anyone familiar with his body of work could probably tell you McCaughan's style would th.
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Those who felt Oh! Calcutta! had too little of Chris McCaughan can now shut up. Seriously. Sundowner, and this debut, Four One Five Two should be more than enough for fans of the Lawrence Arms' less snotty side. Anyone familiar with his body of work could probably tell you McCaughan's style would thrive in a singer-songwriter setting and it does.

Largely, the minimalist approach of Sundowner allows McCaughan's oft-overlooked knack for storytelling to take center stage. Each of these 12 tracks have a tangible solemnity, be it urgent ("The Sea of Lights"), haunting ("Midsummer Classic"), introspective ("Cold White North") or otherwise, emotion seeps from the speakers but it's never, you know, whiny. Jenny Choi's cello and keys, along with backup vocals on a few tracks, keep Sundowner's sound from being too tenuous and compliment McCaughan's somber vocal delivery and guitar playing perfectly. Album opener "Steal Your Words" and goosebump-inducer "Endless Miles" are prime examples of this.

There are two great versions of Lawrence Arms songs found on Four One Five Two. "My Boatless Booze Cruise" is an unexpected yet welcome inclusion and McCaughan does it justice. As a fan of the band, it's awesome hearing Chris cover one of Brendan's songs. "100 Resolutions," arguably McCaughan's most popular song penned for the Larry Arms, loses some of its urgency sonically here but gains a certain earnestness in an acoustic setting. And let's be honest; most of us would gladly shave five years off our lives to be able to write lyrics like that.

Four One Five Two at face value is a solid batch of singer-songwriter material and while it certainly helps, one doesn't have to be a connoisseur of the Lawrence Arms to enjoy this record. Four One Five Two has more than enough great moments to stand on its own as a quality release from a strong band and not just a side project or solo album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And DreamsAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound

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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.
arejaypunx (December 12, 2011)

Wonderful album. Some of Chris' finest work.

Marchelo (August 16, 2010)

Worth listening to... nice, good, but not great.

blip (June 29, 2010)

took awhle to sink in....great album.

abracadaver (August 13, 2008)

Beautiful.

i-hate-winnipeg (November 18, 2007)

this album's so goddamn good! the My Boatless Boozecruise Cover always leaves me smiling... :)

beluga (May 1, 2007)

All TLA fans knew this wouldn't disappoint. It's poppy, happy, and somehow sardonic, and while some of the songs seem to merge into one another, there's no denying this is a fantastic album worth buying.

kirbypuckett (March 29, 2007)

Brian, I really liked your review in AP.

- Kirby

Scruffy (March 22, 2007)

Man, guys. Blazinpenis just owned us. And if anyone would know about quality, it's someone with the user name Blazinpenis.

Seriously, though, he's right about a lot of people not holding the Arms and their side-projects up to a critical light. The Falcon and this are good, but nowhere near as amazing as the Arms, yet everyone just seems to care about who's in the band/project.

Anonymous (March 20, 2007)

which dillinger four cd should i buy?

Anonymous (March 20, 2007)

I think he meant deep as in "low in pitch."

Blazinpenis (March 20, 2007)

Alright I cannot stay silent any longer! Almost everyone on Punknews adores the Lawrence Arms.. its no secret. All you Punknews posters view their material as magical, sophisticated and down-right talented musicianship.. which seems unfathomable to me. After earring your rants and ravings about this guitarist and his band.. I checked them out, listened to their music and even saw them live with the RX Bandits when they were in Philly. After much exposure to this band.. I can safely say that I think the Lawrence Arms is most overrated band in the scene today! THERE I SAID IT! Just to prove to you guys that I am not some one-side hippie who doesnâ??t enjoy the essence of pure punk rock, I listened to the Sundowner cdâ?¦ all of it. And it sounds like an acoustic cd I wrote when I was 12. I just cannot understand where people get off thinking his voice is â??DEEPâ?ť and intriguing. And DAMN, the guitar is similar in every song. Im sorry guys, but you give this guy way to much credit than he deserves.

BONG!

Anonymous (March 20, 2007)

On some of these tracks, Chris' voice is so fucking deep. It sounds as if Dr. Hibbard from the Simpsons is singing or something. I had no idea his vocal range went that low. Not that it's a bad thing, just very surprising.

This, like everything Chris, Brendan or Neil touch, is pure gold. One of my favorite records in a long time. I agree when you say that the 100 Resolutions version loses some sense of urgency, I felt the exact same way too. But it brings something totally different to the table. Fuck I love that song.

Hey_Asshole (March 20, 2007)

i really like this, but the way chris sings some of the lines is awkward. especially on One Hundred Resolution. that kind of faux-twangy thing he has going...

Anonymous (March 19, 2007)

I was always a Chris fan first because of 100 resolutions, but i've grown to love Brendan's songs too.

Anonymous (March 19, 2007)

buy it, red scare needs the help. just go to fuckin interpunk.com and order it, including shipping its like 13.00. the cd does come with a booklet that includes lyrics.

Paul

Kursk (March 18, 2007)

4 stars, who would have thought here on punknews.org that anything related to the Larry Arms would have gotten a 4 star review or perhaps even more.

I'll listen to this sometime and I may become less sarcastic about it. I love the Lawrence Arms by the way, I just really have no interest in this.

Anonymous (March 18, 2007)

hey, does this album come with lyrics book and everything, anyone know? i can't find it in any record stores, including little indie ones and a giant virgin megastore. and i kiiiinda don't feel like buying it on interpunk just yet. anyone feel like sending it to me?

chokingvictim (March 18, 2007)

I haven't listened to this, but I highly doubt it will be anything short of great. I agree with the person below, that the Larry Arms are just good, and would not be as good if either Chris of Brendan wasn't contributing. However, I like the faster, rawer approach of Brendan's tracks better than Chris's, even though "100 Resolutions" is one of my favorite TLA songs.

Anonymous (March 18, 2007)

punknews.org funds all lawrence arms related projects. i'm sure thats the only reason they're remotely known.

randomhero323 (March 17, 2007)

this is amazing

fallingupwards84 (March 17, 2007)

i'm definitely a fan of Chris in the Larry Arms.. Oh Calcutta was a disappointment because it lacked songs like "The Revisionist" and "The Raw and Searing Flesh"

here's hoping that their next album has more of Chris' vocals.. until then, i'll settle for this

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

I like Steal Your Words and Jax Underground best. Great LP.

m-oo (March 16, 2007)

Absofuckinglutely

SloaneDaley (March 16, 2007)

"Midsummer Classic" and "Endless Miles" are the jams. There is no way this is better than Calcutta but its still really good. I hope for the next Arms album there is still a couple more clearly Chris songs because when they share Mr. Kelly seems to overpower things.

Big_Guy (March 16, 2007)

what the fuck?

anyway, I meant to say that your girlfriend and I have so much in common

Big_Guy (March 16, 2007)

my girlfriend will love this. she hated 'oh! calcutta' because you "couldn't hear that pretty singer at all."

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

my girlfriend will love this. she hated 'oh! calcutta' because you "couldn't hear that pretty singer at all."

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

This is a pretty good set of acoustic songs by Chris, who seems to be becoming one of my fav singer/musicians today. Sundowner will keep fans of Chris' singing happy and possibly convert a TLA hater or two.

Ramo

passionisafashion (March 16, 2007)

Perfect opening line. Seriously. I was so sick of people shitting on Oh! Calcutta. The second I heard Brendan say they were going for a Paul's Boutique kind of feel I totally got the album. I've always liked it, and really think people need to give it a chance.

This Sundowner album is amazing, but did we expect anything less?

foldskool (March 16, 2007)

am I the only one who thinks it's weird that there are Chris Fans and Brendan Fans. I just like the Larry Arms. They both write awesome songs and I think complement each other very well. That's what makes them more interesting then yr typical band, punk or otherwise.

Haven't heard this album but score is for the sheer awesomeness of all things Larry Arms.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

chris is one of the nicest dudes out there. i'm glad he put this out. can't wait to see some shows in support of it.

mike_litt69 (March 16, 2007)

pretty fucking good. everything anyone from the lawrence arms does is good (well slapstick isnt that good) and this is no different.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

Do u think on this site this would get anything lower than a 4? Anything o having to do on Red scare with this site is like walking into work and kissing your boss.

Did you type that with your feet?

And did you ever think that maybe every Red Scare release gets a good review because they actually put out music that's worth a damn? Seems logical enough to me.

I've listened to this record only once, and I already know it's great. I need to listen again though so it can sink in.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

Do u think on this site this would get anything lower than a 4? Anything o having to do on Red scare with this site is like walking into work and kissing your boss.

WarIsPeace (March 16, 2007)

In "Oh, Calcutta"'s defense, the larry arms were trying to do something different than "Greatest Story," with dueling vocals and fast sing-a-long choruses instead of just switching back and forth between more personal, slower Chris songs and faster Brendan songs. If you take them both for what they are, they're both great albums.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

weird, cuz i think midsummer classic is one of my least favorites on here.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

Excellent

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

Awesome record. Hope LA does some of these songs on the next tour.

MikeStupid (March 16, 2007)

This sounds exactly like I hoped it would. Just ridiculously good.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

nocigar is so fuckin hetero.

nocigar (March 16, 2007)

oh yea, just to make fun of that markrowan fag again, good job having Hit the Lights as one of your favs...fuckin homo

nocigar (March 16, 2007)

print my Biggie review, this shit sucks

fucking dumbass dipshit, please never come back.

this album is amazing.

HeyLittleFingers (March 16, 2007)

"Endless Miles" seriously did give me the chills.
Good review, best album i've heard this year.

markrowan (March 16, 2007)

print my Biggie review, this shit sucks

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

oh man "100 resolutions" is such a good song. I need to hear this.

dusticles (March 16, 2007)

I love this CD.

Anonymous (March 15, 2007)

What a kiss ass review!

colin (March 15, 2007)

while this is good, and the review notes well how it puts the storytelling aspect of chris' lyrics front and center, this hurts in the same way "oh! calcutta!' was lacking because there wasn't enough of chris.

his voice does so well as an action / reaction with relatively loud music, just because of the variety of vocal approaches he's capable of. with this muted, relatively monochrome vocal style, it's comforting and soothing but in dire need of more energy. everything just sort of blends together, and while it's good background music for relaxing, it's nothing musically that makes me want to actively listen to it otherwise.

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