The Lawrence Arms - Apathy and Exhaustion (Cover Artwork)

The Lawrence Arms

The Lawrence Arms: Apathy and ExhaustionApathy and Exhaustion (2002)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

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

A recipe for Lawrence Arms: Start with Alkaline Trio, add one part Jawbreaker, 2 cups of gravel, some crunchy guitars, lots of tight drums and bass. Stir in lots of beer...and that's basically the Lawrence Arms for you. Bad intros aside, The Lawrence Arms hail from Chicago, Illinois, and are a.
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A recipe for Lawrence Arms:

Start with Alkaline Trio, add one part Jawbreaker, 2 cups of gravel, some crunchy guitars, lots of tight drums and bass. Stir in lots of beer...and that's basically the Lawrence Arms for you.

Bad intros aside, The Lawrence Arms hail from Chicago, Illinois, and are a big part of an exploding punk scene in that city. They are also the latest and greatest addition to the Fat Wreck Chords roster. Their debut Fat Wreck album is "Apathy and Exhaustion", released February 12th. The band name is derived from a rundown appartment in Chicago they once called home, until they were evicted at 2am one night.

"Apathy and Exhaustion" is an excellent album from start to finish. The band employs 2 lead singers; 1 with a gravelly voice (who sings 2/3 of the time, and one with a cleaner voice (1/3 of the time). This approach keeps the cd really fresh as they alternate duties from song to song. And it doesn't hurt that one of them sounds like Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker.

The first song is entitled "Porno and Snuff Films" and while the title doesn't really reflect the song's content, this song is a perfect punk rock opener, perking your ears up for more. The second song is "The First Eviction Notice" and marks the first appearance of the secondary singer. This song is great, sounding an bit like Jawbreaker. It's not until song four, "Your Gravest Words" where the Jawbreaker sound is in full effect, marking it as my favorite song on the disc. The next song slows the tempo for a bit of a break in "Boatless Booze Cruise", which is a catchy little song once the tempo picks up. Pound for pound this cd is just solid, fast, raw, Chicago punk rock. Both singers are great, either could front the band solo, but having two just provides more variety and makes this disc more enjoyable. The final song is titled "Abracadaver" (clever pun), and it ties things up nicely. Only downside to this disc is the short play time just over 30 minutes (11 songs)...but in today's music world, that's a pretty average length.

The album cover and cd art are outstanding on this disc, done by Mad Skillz with awesome illustrations by Josh Marshall. On the whole this is just a great disc. If you like Alkaline trio or Jawbreaker then you definitely should own this cd, and if you like good punk albums this would be worth picking up. A great addition to the Fat roster and a great addition to my cd collection. I'll definitely be looking into more releases by this band.

A nearly perfect album in my opinion. It's in heavy heavy rotation in my cd player.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Clash - London Calling

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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.
clashrock11 (August 29, 2009)

the first song i ever heard from these guys was "navigating the windward passage", which i didn't think very much of at first, but after listening to (and loving) "oh! calcutta!", i checked out the whole album, and it really blew me away.
while i think some of the songs on "calcutta" are better than the ones on "apathy", this album as a whole is a little more solid, and there isn't a bad tune in the bunch. i think right now my favorite songs alternate between "right as rain, pt. 2" and "boatless booze cruise party", but really, none of the songs warrant a press of the "skip" button.
i can't imagine anybody who is into punk rock not liking this album. all in all, my favorite release from these guys. "calcutta" is a close second.

SOYBOMB (April 29, 2002)

I think moldy got it right..
The overall sound of A.G.T.O.C sounded alot more "under-produced" and raw compared to their newer songs, which are not that bad, but just have too bright a sound.


moldy (April 29, 2002)

i liked this disc, but not as much as the older stuff, i think the lack of production that came with being on asian man really added to the sound. My only complaint about this disc, it was too slick compared with thier older stuff, i really thought they should stick with the rough sound on guided tour of chicago, it made everything sound more personal

ego100 (April 29, 2002)

Wicky disc...Fat Mike's one lucky punker for signing these guys.

SOYBOMB (April 28, 2002)

I liked their first CD more for some reason...

Anonymous (April 28, 2002)

You haven't heard Slapstick?! You're missing out...Go on Kazaa or just buy the CD. You won't regret it.

Anonymous (April 28, 2002)

Hey, I've never heard Slapstick. Anyone know where I could find some of their mp3s?

lou-s (April 27, 2002)

just so anyone who's never heard this band (you should've by now goddamn you) happens to read this, that guy "with a gravelly voice (who sings 2/3 of the time" happens to have been part of some of the best bands ever to grace my stereo (or anyone else's for that matter)... sadly, only being 16, i never got the chance to see slapstick live, fuckin' sucks for me, but yea they were amazing, as were the broadways

Anonymous (April 27, 2002)

i would trade a lifetime supply of lawerence arms shows to see slapstick once

huey (April 27, 2002)

I dig these guys, and I love the Jawbreaker influence, but Slapstick and The Broadways were so much better.

Anonymous (April 27, 2002)

i like the broadways more. i miss them!

Anonymous (April 27, 2002)

a fucking fantastic album. and its not "pop-punk", its Midwestern Beerbelly Despair Rock!

doublewhiskeycokenoice (April 26, 2002)

"Shady view terrace" was decent, but this blows. It's just generic pop-punk shit. They've gotten progressively worse with every album. Save your money for the new Dillinger Four cd.

Anonymous (April 26, 2002)

What happened to Chris's voice on this album??????? It has changed so much, I don't know if I like that or not. I liked the old stuff better.

Anonymous (April 26, 2002)

Also if you like Slapstick, get this.

Wyld_Stallyns_Rule (April 26, 2002)

I concur. These guys are great.

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