The Lawrence Arms

The Lawrence Arms are an incredible punk-rock band from Chicago. Brendan Kelly (Bass, Vocals) has been kind enough to pick out his Top 5 Tracks. Check out what he has to say below…

Over to Brendan Kelly:

Nomeansno – Rags and Bones

This band is just devastatingly great, and they’ve got a million awesome songs, but perhaps no song in the universe so effortlessly blends so many genres and moods into one cohesive piece. This song is hilarious, dark, terrifying, silly, dead serious and just flat out balls to the wall all at once. The weird hip-hop outro that descends into a pentatonic and satanic sounding chorus of howls is the icing on the cake. If pushed, I’d say this is my favorite “punk” rock song of all time. Plus, the bassline is unfuckwithable to a ludicrous degree.

NWA – Straight Outta Compton

Very few artists are able to provoke genuine fear in people. Marilyn Manson was KIND OF scary (to religious dorks) and the Village People were a bit frightening (to bigots) but NWA was genuinely terrifying to almost everyone when they came on the scene. This song is their manifesto and it absolutely slays. It still holds up a zillion years later as one of the best, most furiously incisive and all around kickass hip hop tracks ever recorded. It doesn’t hurt that Straight Outta Compton features the most pound-for-pound visionary, dynamic MC of all time, Ice Cube, in his prime. You can practically hear hip hop changing forever over the course of his verse.

Cheap Trick – Surrender

This song came on the radio this morning and I was once again blown away by how great it is. The chorus is essentially three incredible hooks just crammed into one of the most bombastic 3 line anthems of all time. The verses are poignant, funny and also riddled with subtle hooks. The outro starts with a triumphant riff and then builds into yet another insane anthem. This is how rock songs should be made–however, almost no one is talented enough to pack this much rock into one song.

Applause – Lady Gaga

Some people don’t like this one very much but it absolutely gives me the chills. The melodies are dynamic and unusual, and the chorus is danceable and infectious. In a career full of great tunes, this is Lady Gaga’s most cohesive, most rocking, best song. It also features one of her best vocal performances, which is really saying something.

Kendrick Lamar – The Art of Peer Pressure

Kendrick is more narrative than a lot of MC’s and this is perhaps the most dramatic of his tracks. When this tune comes on, I feel like I’m in this minivan, getting weird in the hot afternoon with these dudes on the 405. Every detail is rendered so fully and effortlessly. Beyond that, the dark bassline is perfectly sinister as it pulses underneath this story of teenaged shenanigans culminating in a burglary. it’s a cool track. I’ve never robbed someone else’s house, but this song makes me feel like I’m there. Amazing.

Here’s the playlist of Brendan’s choices on YouTube:

And Spotify:

And for good measure, here’s The Lawrence Arms’ most recent single:

See you next time.

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