Greetings From The Skeleton Coast!

The harsh climate and lack of water can make it difficult to survive on the Skeleton Coast, which is why death is found everywhere. The sand is littered with life's remnants: elephant rib cages...

Shit’s a little different this week. We (The Lawrence Arms, which is a band I am in) have a new album out on Friday, July 17, called Skeleton Coast. It’s available HERE or wherever you steal/stream records. Epitaph put it out. IF you’re not the kind of person who refuses to wear a mask in indoor public spaces, here are the lyrics and liner notes so you can vibe with it at your leisure, even if you’re just pulling the songs off spotify or dubbing a cassette from your friend or whatever you crazy kids do these days. Just be safe having that fun.

With that said, just enjoy the album. I’m sure proud to be in a band with such talented guys and I’m very thankful they’ve put up with me this long. I think this is a really, really strong entry in our catalog, but hey! Maybe you feel otherwise. Let me know in the comments either way. For those of you who don’t give a shit about The Lawrence Arms, which is totally understandable, I’m sorry for this detour. The self-important philosophizing and jokes at the expense of literally everything on earth will be back next entry. Love you all! Anyway, here’s the shit:

Side A

Quiet Storm

PTA

Belly Of the Whale

Dead Man’s Coat

Pigeons and Spies

Last, Last Words

(the) Demon

Side B

Ghostwriter

How to Rot

Under Paris

Goblin Foxhunt

Lose Control

Don’t Look At Me

Coyote Crown

The Lawrence Arms are:

Neil Hennessy-drums

Brendan Kelly-bass

Chris McCaughan-guitar

All songs written by TLA

Skeleton Coast was recorded January/February 2020 at the Sonic Ranch on the Texas/Mexico border

Produced and Engineered by Matt “We doin pseudonyms on this record? No nicknames for me, please” Allison

Assisted by Mauro Castro and David Carreon

Layout by David Holtz

Cover painting by Jeremy Bruneel

Photos by Ben Pier

Thanks:

Brett, Matt, all at Epitaph, Mike, Erin, all at Fat, Mike Park, Tobias Jeg, Dan Tinkler, Corrie Christopher, Jess Bumstead, Matt Marti, Tony Rancich, Felipe, Mario and all at Sonic Ranch, Richard Bussey and Matthew Farrar and all at Fender, Kody, Sean Poole, Ron DiCola, Jeff, all y’all. Thanks for listening. Xoxox

SIDE A

Quiet Storm 

There is no past

There is no future

Now I’m free to live, at last

No more courage at my fingertips

Sit and wait for the nothingness

All aboard, your fate is departing

Last train ever, it’s now or never

Rain of fireworks above the lake

Familiar skies of a native place

Revel in the summer aftertaste

My final act was to disintegrate

There is no past

The future has been cast

Now I’m free to live, at last 

Search for truth in a coffee cup

But inspiration is an idle drug

A quiet storm is raging in my mind

Hurricane of my own design

I crackled like a radio wave

Remote status in a western state

Listen closely, some horsemen are calling

Lay back, the night sky is falling

PTA

Don’t worry baby, it’s nigh.

The end of our time, the brush on your thigh.

The feeling of toiling and loving only to watch it all die

I’m a long time in coming along for one hell of a ride

We took planes. We took trains. We took automobiles

And it was still just me looking at you when we stopped spinning the wheels

Dusty and lonesome and craving a glance

That starts in your heart then shoots into your pants.

Oh.

So, what did we do about it?

The same thing that everyone does

Cancel the contract you had with your soul and cut out the love

Cuz if you’re fighting yourself, then no one is fighting for you

And baby that’s how I like it. I wanna be down there with you.

We took planes. We took trains. We took automobiles

And it was still just me looking at you when we stopped spinning the wheels

Dusty and lonesome and craving a glance

Remember?  we used to hold hands. 

Now I just go out alone when I need to dance.

Belly of the Whale 

If I wasn’t just one kid standing on another kid’s shoulders in a trench coat you’d be in trouble buddy

If I was an innertube rolling down the quad city river in the summer I’d be hauling something tubby

To the coast where the bones peek up like the ship ribs

I played hide and seek with the bleach-boned kids

They asked who I was and so I ran and hid

In the belly of the whale with a candle and a pen

And it’s my lucky day when the tide rolls in

New ribcages of the dead young men

Mandibles and bows and sterns

Captains that it seems ain't never gonna learn

I gotta go back I don’t care if it was killing me

I gotta go back you’re unbearable like this

I gotta go back cuz goddamnit, you’re right

I didn’t wanna wake up in this place tonight

Now all I hear is bitching and moaning

Fools barely keeping up with where they’re come-and-going

This tired argument is the only one you’ve ever known

I’m gonna get going my path is a-showin

It’s a long way home.

Dead Man’s Coat

Woke up in foreign skin on a frozen continent

I am a stranger in a dead man’s coat

Do you remember when we chased down our ghosts and then… 

Exposed their faces to the world?

No form, no color

I was dead in the water

When they blew my cover

I dreamed of sons and daughters

I drank expired dreams, static on hotel tv’s

The toxic air of our anxiety 

Read the last of my tea leaves, zodiac geography

Nothing is what nothing seems

Change is all we have

Unknown road ahead

Wrapped in a dead man’s coat

The future slips through my hands

No form, no color

I was dead in the water

Pigeons and Spies

You are the pigeon

I am the spy

All that we have in common is that we’re both high

Watching the baldspots and bonnets walk by down below

You are the dinosaur I am the ground

That shook to knock all you mo’fuckers out

All we have in common is one brutal sound

Watching pteranodons falling all around. Oh.

I’m tired, you’re tired too.

I wanna make some big changes but

 I’m not in the mood

I’m dying, you’re dying too.

All we’ve got in common is I’m out here killing for two

You are the bombers

I am the moms

Not sure where the next tragedy falls

All we have in common is that when they die

We both feel it inside

You are the locker room

I am the queer

Keenly aware you don’t like that I’m here

All we have in common is that we hate me

All we have in common is that we’ll both be

Angry and old and some day we’ll die

Someday we’ll start drinking at 845

Take me to the bathroom when I start to cry.

Cover my mouth and then cover my eyes

Cover my soul, girl it’s already died.

I never had nothing inside.

In this case I am the me, and you are the you. All we have in common is we’re out here sweating out booze.

Last, Last Words 

Dead sleep, flash of lightning in our heads

Out to sea, no way we’re ever coming back

These are my last, last words  

No one will ever read

Nameless stars fall down on me

Traffic builds, rush hour in my blood

Everyone’s a phony, it’s a bullshit game that I have lost   

But I’m a lucky son, alive with bated breath

Tick box forty-one in a hunters cap

Hang me in the halls of obscurity

Behind the velvet ropes in a distant gallery

Save a place for me

When all is said and done

Dressed to kill for oblivion

(the) Demon

I can’t justify any of this

I am lonely and collared and pissed 

I am a rat in a cage. 

I am a demon filled up with hubris and bullshit and shame. 

I am drunk. I am ugly. I am worse than you think that I am 

You could be my savior baby but baby I don’t give a damn 

I am the dying I am the plague 

I am the sum of this mess I have made 

I am the garbage can I am the trash 

I am this cautionary tale you can have

I came into this shit all alone. 

I’ll rock that same program when it’s time to go

I am the demon I am the hell 

get the fuck out of here fend for yourself

but know 

I am the demon

SIDE B

Ghostwriter

I drove the highways of a skeleton coast

Salt and sea, tapped mysteries into the keys

I wrote an opus of distorted truths

A symphony to crashing waves of victory

I am a ghostwriter

Pretend I am forever young

I bleed every ribbon dry

Waiting for my day to come

Tamerlane, my poor soul in a last refrain

An endless storm rattles on my windowpane

Creaking floors, lost voices of a thousand wars

The fire roars

How long can we sing the same old tired songs?

How long can we tread water? The shore is only getting smaller 

How To Rot

Theoretically, Fidel was right, boy, you are not a resistor. 

he pumps regular but leads w his right and you are not a resistor.

I don't care about love or games. 

I'm burning entropic social thread flames

You are not...

this hell is already so hot. the bodies have lined up to rot

you'll never be revolution. revolution don't give a fuck.

kill the cancer, install another cancer that you think is good enough

so look at the sails

the mightiest vessel is no match for the whales

and still we push on

to the leviathan song

and still we sing

You think it be R but it be the C. You think it be R but it be the C

And Brandy, you’re a fine girl. What a good wife you would be

I am not....

I am not. nearly as good as the shit that I got 

I’ll walk backwards straight into hell and show you fucks all how to rot. 

Under Paris

I lost you in the smoke

The world choked on fire

I wrote your name on every crumbling city wall

I traced my life in crude designs

I dreamed of you one million times

Tallied the days against my skin

Watch it burn

Disappear, there’s nothing left for me here

Changed my name

I cut my hair

We are wolves

Chase the same light of the moon

Distance is the hours between

I’m losing time to every beat

Anything is possible, but not for us

Fate is a like a metronome

A perfect strike– eternal drone

One degree of separation, plus three to annihilation

I’ll be singing your name to a broken melody, under Paris

Goblin Fox Hunt 

All you fucking goblins had better watch out

Once I calm down a bit it’s over for you

All the kids in cages are starting to shout

But nothing is shocking when nothing is new

I dream of the days in the hell that we paved

Picking fire like flowers on the path that we made

Burnt fingertips and the heat of your thighs

Rolling in hell sweating out the night

You look like an angel covered in blood

I sound like a dipshit 90’s emocore thug

But I’ll do anything to be what you wanna see

Wild dogs and orange and snow and disease

We can never get out we can never go back

So it’s a good thing that I don’t want that

Someday I’ll be funny again

Today I don’t just want to be friends

Lose Control

Dear blackhole, will you read this?

I lost control at the wheel

I watched the oceans drown every city 

From my penthouse suite, I leave the tv on

The sound of the chatter keeps me from getting lonely

All the kids are gone

I’ve been swimming in a pool of money

I’m rich like a dead king, they say

My name rings out on those pathetic streets

A hollow sound, a dead wind on the edge of town

I’ll make them love me 

or I’ll buy and sell their sorry souls

The oil is beautiful– it’s flowing

I don’t feel empty anymore

I live in cold blood, in a house with a thousand doors

When the boiler growls, a hundred tigers keep me warm

I’ll live forever, charge days to my credit card

I own the future, and I own what’s left of yours

Dear blackhole, can you hear me?

We lost control at the wheel

Don't Look At Me

This is a failed attempt

words crashing, bartenders and wimps

Gimping to bass addled tunes, the runes say that I'm doomed, and I hope you are too

the lonely descent won't be nothing if you wrap your bones in mine

there's nothing to fear in this darkness if I've got your light by my side

the river ain't too hard to cross 

and I befriended the dogs

and I made it into the inferno just fine

I’m not trying to slow down the time

Don't look at me baby. look out at that shitty Oceanside, maybe. 

There is nothing that could turn me off of you

but I've got this date with the devil and you’re coming too. 

just find a wrapping to cover my corpse, maybe

My life, my love and my lady is the sea

Don’t look at me

Coyote Crown

Disappear in fog and rain

Abandoned words of yesterday

Arrested syntax of my youth

Cassettes were piled high on coffee table dreams of mine

I found my way here on a crooked line

Regrets– just cracks in my ribs

Paint your sunlight on my bones

Rewind. I was the hero of another time

Now, who am I? The writer of the storyline?

Walked the scars of history for firewood and gasoline

Erased my footprints in the moonlight

I sang a coyote song

I watched the fire burn higher and higher

I wear a coyote crown

I watch this world burn down