The Lawrence Arms

Buttsweat and Tears

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With Buttsweat and Tears -- surprisingly the group's first 7" in all its ten years -- the Lawrence Arms pick up right where they left off on 2006's very excellent Oh! Calcutta! At only four songs in length (a fifth song, "Demons," is only available via the digital release and worth checking out), you're left wishing it was a full-length album, since just as you're getting reacquainted with the band, it's all over. Such is the curse of the 7". Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan mostly split the lead during this set, and each track is full of the same grit-covered, rowdy proclamations they both do so well. There's a lot of personal reflection and desire to escape (both town and the past), but somehow the guys never seem surrendered to defeat. "The Slowest Drink at the Saddest Bar on the Snowiest Day in the Greatest City" is a spirited tale of loneliness with an awesome title, and "Them Angels Been Talkin'" has Kelly leading the punk rock charge with guitars blazing. The last song, the McCaughan-led "The Redness in the West," start outs with a modest country twang, featuring little more than vocals over barely heard guitar, before the rest of the band joins in to ensure that the EP finishes off on a high note of drunken punk camaraderie. The Larry Arms don't hold back at all, making Buttsweat and Tears solid from beginning to end and a worthy addition to their already strong arsenal.

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