The Menzingers – After The Party (Epitaph Records)
Genre – Garage punk
For their fifth full-length After the Party, The Menzingers set out to make the quintessential jukebox record: an unstoppable melodic album primed for bar-room sing-alongs. And, it’s safe to say, they’ve done just that.
Delivering anthemic harmonies, furious power chords, and larger-than-life melodies, the Philadelphia-based garage-punk four-piece amply fulfils that mission while achieving something much more deeply nuanced.
With its delicately crafted storytelling and romanticism, After the Party ultimately proves to be a reflective but life-affirming reflection on getting older but not quite growing up.
The Menzingers may have vacated their twenties, and as the chorus of the album’s opener Tellin’ Lies ‘Where are we gonna go now our twenties are over?’ suggests, there’s plenty soul searching going on in Philadelphia.
Tellin’ Lies is a yearning of youthful days, and the things you shouldn’t do after your twenties. Sound sensible? Not a chance! This is The Menzingers after all, and their fuck it approach to life comes through in humorous rhetoric and rhyme. From going to Vegas and putting it all on black, to feeling like a criminal for buying marijuana… you get the gist!
Lookers brings a much more grown up Gaslight Anthem / Fallon feel to the table. This heavier number is filled with raspy vocals, heavy riffs and powerful drumming to create a song filled with everyone’s favourite rock and roll clichés.
The battle between reckless youth and responsibility has seen each member of the band broaden their horizons, with Regina Spektor and Meatloaf being listed as strong influences prerecording.
House On Fire brings these influences to life, with fresh arrangements that see the band put a rougher edgier spin on Bayside’s brand of punk.
The Menzingers may have explored new territory, but they’ve also stuck to their guns. They’ve kept their style. They’ve kept that hard, punk sound with racing guitars and a flurry of noise, but its clean cut at the same time.
Black Mass and Bad Catholics see that old sound return with light hearted, funny lyrics that will bring comparison to Flogging Molly, while Your Wild Years will undoubtedly remind you of the Dropkicks with the chorus of ‘a little Irish in your blood… a little Boston in your attitude.’
After The Party has been The Menzingers biggest release to date, and it’s one that fans will love. From the throwback tales of Tellin’ Lies to the rawness of the title track, this album will not disappoint.
RUSHONROCK RATED – 9/10 Turn up the volume and stick two fingers in the face of growing old!