The Menzingers‘ eagerly awaited fifth full-length ‘After The Party’ is finally going to presented in Amsterdam. And that was one that took a long time to write. That took over a year to make right, I just really took my time with it and then when I brought it to the band we all made it its thing. But it took a long time for me to almost get courage enough to bring it to the band, to feel comfortable enough doing it. It’s also one of the most rewarding songs on the album because of that.
After the Party is the quintessential jukebox record: an unstoppably melodic album primed for bar-room sing-alongs. Delivering anthemic harmonies, furious power chords, and larger-than-life melodies. With its delicately crafted storytelling and everyman romanticism, After the Party ultimately proves to be a wistful but life-affirming reflection on getting older but not quite growing up.
If you’re headed to Las Vegas to roll for the big one, then you could do worse than have The Menzingers in your corner. Since releasing their second album Chamberlain Waits in 2010 – a sizzling collection of whip-smart punk songs that piqued the attention of Epitaph Records – the Philadelphia quartet have been on a creative winning streak most bands would sell any possession you could name for. It was a record that announced them as something refreshingly honest, unpretentious and easy to like on a relatably you” level.
Voices get hoarse. Muscles shrivel. Anger subsides. Memories fade. When a punk ages, it’s not always graceful. Greg Barnett, the frontman of the Menzingers, knows that all too well — We put miles on these old jean jackets,” he sings — and is looking to find a dignified way through middle age.
What I’m trying to get across on the song is obviously the idea of going to a friend’s funeral who was, when you were growing up, a best friend, a very close friend. And how intimate that relationship is when you were young and you’re just getting your friends and you’re discovering the world, and then you grow older and you grow apart and they almost become an acquaintance. And it’s a pretty wild song that people could be so close to you at one point and then not so close.
After the Party refers to both an after-party and the fact that the band members are slowly approaching 30 and leaving their sex, drugs, and rock and roll” days behind them. What are we gonna do, now that our 20s are over?” asks Barnett on the first track Tellin’ Lies.” The answer? Apparently, make a disappointing, paint-by-numbers rock record.
Midwestern States” is especially guilty of lyrics that don’t fit the rhythms of the verse. The chorus sounds like All Time Low with laryngitis. It’s here when you may first start to realize The Menzingers’ songwriting isn’t quite up to the standard they’ve set for themselves in the past.
The Menzingers Would Like to Thank: Our Family, Friends, and Partners for Their Endless Support and Bottomless Hearts, and for Joining (and Sometimes Carrying) Us on This Incredible Journey, Tim Zahodski, Will Yip, Scott Bell, Dave March, Jesus Martinez, Nick Harris, Tyler Long, Phil Battiato, Tom Taaffe, Brett Gurewitz, Matt Mcgreevy, Felicia Risolo and Everyone at Epitaph Records, Andy Clarke, Danielle Dubois, Kate Hiltz, the Bouncing Souls, Scott Engel, Russo Music, Justin Collier, Bryan K. Christner, Christopher J. Ruggiero, Sarah Maynard, R5 Productions, Joe Ferree, Colin and Leslie Lodwick, Adam Rutkoski, Riverflat Printing and Design, Francis Hunt, Adam Bilboa, Bill Orner, Jack Romano and Roger Harvey.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Tess93 from Great band in an awesome venue The Menzingets as always put on a great show full of energy. Shepherd’s Bush empire is a slightly strange venue to see a punk rock band – I had tickets for level 3 so had seats and a great view, but not quite the mosh pit feel that those in the lower levels experienced.
The Menzingers plays a selection of its most popular songs, including “Tellin’ Lies,” “House On Fire,” “The Obituaries,” “Anna,” “Good Things,” “Thick as Thieves,” “Mexican Guitars,” “Lookers,” “No Penance,” “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore,” “The Freaks,” “Midwestern States,” “The Bars,” “Gates,” “Burn After Writing,” “After the Party,” “Casey,” “In Remission” and “Nice Things.” The exact setlist may be subject to change at any time.
Since forming as teenagers in 2006, The Menzingers have shown their strength as rough-and-tumble storytellers, turning out songs equally rooted in frenetic energy and lifelike detail.
Then again, Barnett’s father never played in a punk band. Time moves faster in music than in the real world. One day you’re the new kids on the scene and the next you feel aged out of it. When Barnett started The Menzingers as a quasi-ska project with three high school friends — Tom May, Eric Keen, and Joe Godino — in Scranton, he was a baby-faced teenager who got teased by older, more established bands.
The Menzingers have announced a new album. On October 4 the Philadelphia punk band will release Hello Exile via Epitaph The album was produced by Will Yip and features songs about high-school hellraising, troubled relationships, aging and alcohol and political ennui,” according to a press release. The first single is titled Anna,” and you can check it out below, along with the album’s tracklist. That’s the album’s artwork above.
The sing-along’s are huge, so much so that often lead singer Greg Barnett is not heard over the noise of the crowd. It’s not just singing where the crowd get majorly involved though. From an outsider looking in the front of the stage at a Menzingers gig can look like a car crash. Bodies fly everywhere. Members of the crowd will quite regularly end up on the stage, much to the bands delight before diving back into the crowd. That’s not something that should put people off seeing them though; the number one rule at any punk show is look after the people around you, if you see someone down help them get back up.
2012’s On The Impossible Past brought a more polished pop-punk sound to the band’s material, while showing huge leaps forward in terms of songwriting ability, literary references and album structure. It remains one of the best pop-punk albums of the decade. Their follow-up, Rented World, maintained the status quo for a generally solid release. Now, their fifth record After The Party attempts a change in direction, but produces diminishing returns.
The Menzingers explore the tension between recklessness and responsibility all throughout After the Party, with the chorus to its opening track 20’s (Tellin’ Lies)” brashly asking Where are we gonna go now that our twenties are over?” On lead single Lookers”—as in, You were such a looker in the old days”—the band pays loving tribute to their time spent in Asbury Park, weaving in memories of smoke-filled diners and Jersey-girl heartbreakers. Equally soaked in nostalgia, the bittersweet yet blistering Midwestern States” offers what Barnett calls an ode to being in our early 20s and touring across the country for the first time, and just how eye-opening that all was for us.” On Bad Catholics,” meanwhile, The Menzingers match their heavy riffs and high-powered rhythms with a gorgeously detailed narrative of running into a lost love at a hometown church picnic.
The Menzingers encourages a boisterous, energetic and loud atmosphere. Depending on the venue, fans can expect a packed crowd and a wild mosh pit from the start of the concert until the very end. Fans are also encouraged to sing along with the band. A typical concert may last at least an hour.
A year later, The Menzingers had released their debut album, titled “A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology,” which made significant waves in the punk world, finding new fans, achieving a sound similar to the likes of the Lawrence Arms. The band moved to Red Scare Industries in 2009 to release their four-song EP, “Hold on Dodge,” before then embarking upon a tour alongside Broadway Calls.
Scranton, N.J.-based punk outfit The Menzingers have unveiled details of their forthcoming sixth studio album Hello Exile, set for release Oct. 4 via Epitaph.
As you work your way through the record it becomes apparent The Menzingers have said it all before. If it’s bittersweet longing of youth you crave look no further than On The Impossible Past. Five years later, putting a nostalgic spin on calling cigarettes smokes” and glorifying drunk driving does not make it any cooler than it ever was (these lyrical refrains have always been some of the most cliche aspects of The Menzingers’ image).
For our 30th episode, we are joined by Tom May of The Menzingers Tom talks up through his musical journey from growing up in Pennsylvannia, the artists that influenced him and the first bands he formed. We discuss how The Menzingers’ sound has evolved over the years and their rise to fame. Tom talks about his love for the UK and his many friends here. On the day of recording, the band had released the first single ‘Anna’ from their upcoming album. We get into what The Menzingers have planned for the coming months and what we can expect from the new record.
Check out the album’s first cut, artwork and tracklist below, along with The Menzingers’ 2013 Daytrotter Session. After the Party,” the fifth album by the Menzingers, confronts the anxieties of growing older.
In 2010, they released their second full-length, “Chamberlain Waits,” which went on to be named one of the best punk records of the year by sites like , and The success of the record also gained them a front-cover appearance on AMP Magazine. The album brought the respect of their peers, embarking on support slots for The Gaslight Anthem, Against Me!, NOFX and ANTI-FLAG across the US and Canada.
With each new album from The Menzingers, it always feels like the band has reached their peak, like they can’t get any better than this. At this point, though, I shouldn’t be surprised when they simply outdo themselves every single time. With their latest album, Hello Exile, the band has taken what made their previous release, After The Party great and simply ran with it. Filled to the brim with emotional lyrics about existential dread, the fear of growing up and holding on to one’s youth and the people they love, Hello Exile is sure to hit home with the band’s fans who are going through similar things.