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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Review: The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

The Lawrence Arm's sixth cd since 1999, Oh! Calcutta!, should not be confused with the long-running Broadway musical kept alive single-handedly (literally) by Asian businessmen who went to see the nudity. Japanese men will crawl to Saturn to see nudity.

Chicago is America's most underrated punk rock city. I won't go down that road again, but Chicago bands usually don't suck so if presented with a choice between Podunk and Chicago, go wit da Bears.

The Lawrence Arms feature two singers who thankfully avoid the screamo-metal-hip hop traps. The music itself is as hard, fast and noisy as you can get and still be pop-punk. Not always, but often, I'm reminded of Jawbreaker played loud and fast. That's a good thing. The next to last track, "Old Dogs Never Die", is the only song I can point to as a single. I remember when every record had at least one or two singles. After that there's the kinda-country, kinda Social Distortion ditty "Like A Record Player". The first ten tracks are of a similar style.

I'm not saying I'm too old for this, but I remember it took me years to get used to The Bollweevils, another Chicago band I felt too old for in 1994 since I was a Naked Raygun fan. Oh! Calcutta! will grow on me I'm sure.


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