Chicago punk trio The Lawrence Arms will release Skeleton Coast, their first album in six years, via Epitaph Records on July 17.

The Lawrence Arms. Pic by Ben Peir.

The band, who music is gritty but melodic, have also given fans their first taste of the record by sharing a video for the lead single, PTA.

The Lawrence Arms were formed in 1999, and retain the same line-up of Chris McCaughan (guitar and vocals), Brendan Kelly (bass and vocals) and Neil Hennessy (drums).

They have released six studio albums’ during their career, for Asian Man Records, Fat Wreck Chords and, more recently, Epitaph.

Skeleton Coast was recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios near El Paso, Texas, with longtime producer Matt Allison.

“It was kind of like album camp in the sense that we were in this very remote setting for two weeks and really focusing on making the record,” said McCaughlin.

Skeleton Coast is The Lawrence Arms’ seventh studio album.

“That was a very different experience for us because we’ve always made our records in Chicago which is home and all the things about home are in the way.”

Although it was written and recorded before the coronavirus pandemic, Skeleton Coast sounds eerily prescient as it imagines an apocalyptic future where coyotes croon and wolf packs roam free.

“For a band who has been around as long as us, this is about as urgent of a record as we could make,” says Kelly. “It may be kind of dark but it’s really about searching for light in the darkness and finding it, as small as those moments may seem.

“That’s sort of where we’re at: Collecting the scraps of things that could make for a bearable existence in dark times.”

Gary Welford owner