The Menzingers are a band I associate with beer, raw, gruff voices, and just plain fun times. A dream tour I just thought of that would actually work: These guys + The Flatliners + Against Me! + The Gaslight Anthem. I’m pretty sure that would be the greatest time of my life. Anyways, onto this review:
“I’ve been having a horrible time,
Pulling myself together
I’ve been closing my eyes to find
Why all good things should fall apart”
This is exactly what a punk rock album should sound like. The only thing that matters is writing straightforward, honest songs. This is evident right away in the album opener “Good Times”, as you can just hear the passion in singer Tom May’s voice as the song intensifies.
As I explored the record further, it became clear that this is a few steps ahead of their highly regarded 2010 album, Chamberlain Waits, in term of both melody and emotion. The four letter word filled “The Obituaries” is perhaps the record’s biggest anthem and will be a sure fire hit at live shows. “Gates” is one of my personal favorites because it shows the band’s variety in songwriting. It’s probably the deepest song on the album and has my favorite chorus. It reminds me of something The Riot Before would write for some reason.
The album also features many subtleties that you pick up on with more listens. For example, the awesome little palm muted riff they threw in “Sun Hotel” about halfway through — it may be simple, but it adds a lot. Note to bands: do more of this, it makes people come back to your albums. I also love the band’s knack for writing great vocal parts featuring a slowed-down, clean voice along with a raw yell.
“Nice Things” and “I Can’t Seem To Tell” are more standouts, with the first being one of the faster songs on the record and something that will keep the kids in a frenzy, and the latter being a super catchy track carried by one of my favorite riffs on the record.
The Menzingers have written what will go down as one of the best punk releases of 2012. It really surprised me considering I really didn’t get into their previous material. On The Impossible Past is a must-have album for any lover of punk rock. Heck, even if you aren’t, listen to it. There is a lot to appreciate here.
Listen to “Gates” below!