After a busy year (songwriter Sam Jayne recently appeared on Saturday Night Live with Modest Mouse and played the prestigious All Tomorrow’s Parties festival accompanied by J. Mascis) Love as Laughter returns with Laughter’s Fifth, the smartest, grittiest solo-rich classic r’n’r record you’ll get in 2K5. Informed by Thin Lizzy/T-Rex/early Tom Petty, this album’s brilliantly disheveled pop gems tell stories of dirty tricks, miscommunication, regret, bathroom graffiti and misadventure. Sam Jayne started Love as Laughter in 1994 as a solo project in the months after the dissolution of Olympia, Washington’s mess-rock legends Lync and his work with Beck on the One Foot in the Grave record. L/A/L went on to release two albums on K Records and two more on Sub Pop. The new record highlights Jayne’s tongue-in-cheek wit, manifesting itself in the form of sly musical allusions and lyrical innuendo. Laughter’s Fifth is full of the kind of loosely perfect pop songwriting that inspired Doug Martsch to cover “Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords” (off L/A/L’s first album, The Greks Bring Gifts) on Built to Spill’s live record, simply titled Live. It’s a record shot through with gritty, intimate, laissez-faire sentiment and soul, and also their fifth full-length release.