The Lawrence Arms / The Cardinal Sin - live in Cambridge (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Lawrence Arms / The Cardinal Sin

live in Cambridge (2004)

live show

The drunken antics of the Lawrence Arms > you.

But before we get to the ramblin' boys of pleasure, we should discuss the trio of supporting bands that opened things up for them.

Dead Ellington basically played hard and fast punk. Even though I have no one in mind to name drop for comparisons, they weren't too original, or good for that matter, but blood wasn't leaking from my ears, so no complaints here.

It seemed as though Every Forty Seconds had a small but loyal following. They reminded me of new-school Hot Water Music but faster and with clearer guitar work. Their layered vocal dynamics did well for them as well.

Minneapolis's The Cardinal Sin sounded a lot like the Alkaline Trio. They definitely stole the opening riff of "Goodbye Forever" for the intro of one of their own songs. Vocally, there was this certain Tim Kasher-like quality present. It seemed like the band had potential, just needing a solid dose of originality to make them good.

But it was then that The Larry Arms took the stage. Brendan slurred his way through a speaking introduction about five minutes too long, and then the band appropriately jumped into "Alert the Audience!" From there, the crowd up front was compact and raising their fist to every literature reference, every bitter anthem, and every booze-inflicted word. TLA basically flip-flopped between new songs and older goodies, and it mixed well. At one point, someone demanded to know "What the hell is this? I came to see the Alkaline Trio!" All our friendly neighborhood alcoholic bassist could do was smirk and give a small, sarcastic retort to lighten up the already comedic mood. Brendan requested that we all sing along to "this next song" at another point, for we are all the ramblin' boys of pleasure. He stuck his face into the crowd to yell the words along with us (as he did most of the set), joining in the literal barroom companionship. "On With the Show" was a minute-long firecracker of energy that exploded from each person there, while "Brick Wall Views" caused a chant-along for its finish. The atmosphere turned sour when two girls attacked the bouncer and cops were called, with the venue, T.T the Bears, ending the show early. After TLA played one last song with the house lights on and were thus informed of the situation, Brendan thanked the crowd for coming and very calmly (seriously) cussed out the place for "not caring about the artist." It was good to see that they were as angry as us; but my blood didn't start to boil until I read the set list and discovered that they would've played arguably their two most emotional songs, "The Raw and Searing Flesh" and "The Revisionist," and "The Disaster March" as a perfect closer if not for the unfortunate circumstances.

Nonetheless, I had myself some fun and can hopefully catch them next time with a full set.

The Lawrence Arms [this is straight from the paper, and roughly the first two-thirds of it was played]