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Notes From The Underground: The Lawrence Arms Review Their Own Records - Part Two, 'Ghost Stories'

By NME Blog

Posted on 05 Nov 09


The second song on 'Ghost Stories', 'Turnstiles', is probably the best Lawrence Arms song. I say that because we’ve played it a zillion times and it’s still one of the most electrifying points in the set for me every time it comes up. This record marks Chris stepping out and taking on lots of lead vocal duties and sort of setting the groundwork for the band we’d eventually become.

There are some really great songs on this record (turnstiles, the last one) some pretty good ones ('Chicago Is Burning', 'Martha Plimpton', 'Sixteen Hours', 'Ghost Stories') some goofy country songs and some serious ‘what the fuck were we thinking’ moments ('Here Comes the Neighborhood' and 'Asa Phelps' come to mind). Everything else is pretty forgettable, I think. This record was rushed out about six months after guided tour and I think that really shows. The sounds are all fucked up and dumb as some sort of perceived antidote to the ‘no frills’ sound of 'Guided Tour...'.

We triggered every single drum, we slathered everything in chorus. We played the bass through a Sans amp. It’s almost an electronic record. Still, it’s not without its rusty, thrown together charm. Also, I love the cover. I think it’s probably the best album cover we’ve done. Oh yeah, and Neil sings on this record. That’s pretty funny, innit?


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