The Menzingers “After The Party”
To us, The Menzingers have always been one of those bands who are constantly on the verge of ‘breaking big’. They’ve delivered some absolutely storming albums and developed a loyal and passionate fan base in the UK. But, they perhaps haven’t yet got the mainstream success that they deserve.
Right from opener “20’s (Tellin Lies)” there’s an almost acknowledgement that they are not the young punks fresh on the scene any more. Along with “Lookers”, the lyrics show a realisation that their priorities in life have moved on. Thankfully though, this doesn’t mean they have gone all mature (boring!) on us. Quite the opposite, this album is full of great pop/punk songs made up equally of passion, fury and melody.
It’s truly great stuff, indeed, songs like “Thick As Thieves” see the band being more perky and upbeat than ever before. On “House on Fire” and “Cobra (Blue Boy)” they perfectly balance having a commercial melody but retaining a sense of depth and sincerity. They’re songs that deserve to be huge.
There has always been an emotive side to The Menzingers, which is one of the reasons they have always been head and shoulders above many of their contemporaries. Sometimes this is still built in to huge rock songs like “Mid Western States” but then you also get the lower key, but anthemic, “Black Mass”.
In the main, however, this album is just great fun, especially the perfect pop of “Bad Catholics”. In songs like “After The Party” and “Wings (Your Wild Years)”, you get a real Gaslight Anthem feel. You can only hope that this release will bring the Menzingers the same level of exposure that the Gaslight Anthem enjoyed here in the UK.
We’re pretty sure that after every new release by The Menzingers we’ve said that it’s the best one yet. Which is some compliment given how good their back catalogue is. There’s no doubt that this is one of the releases of the year so far, and there’s already been some good ones. With a tour due in the spring this is a very good time for their UK fans.