The Menzingers: On the Impossible Past

This is the third full length album from Scranton area punk rockers and when it comes to these guys, you can’t go wrong. This band are very literate and combine punk rock with a bit of a pop rock sensibility but without sounding too much like We the Kings, All time Low, or any of those bands that have been declining in recent years. On the Impossible Past shows that the band is getting stronger, building up on what made 2010’s album, Chamberlain Waits so exceptional. They’ve got very intelligent lyrics that can be wordy at times but still fit the song as well as great, muscular riffs to give the band further strength. each album is a way for this band to flex said muscles and this new album shows the band at the top of their game.

This album was also produced by Matt Allison who is famous for producing the Alkaline Trio and The Lawrence Arms as well as Chamberlain Waits. Matt was able to build upon what the band were able to excel at on the last album, and make it more mature, more thought-out, and all around just better and stronger.

Thematically, this album is no different than their older material. This band have always been speaking the truth about growing up, being bored, and wanting to get drunk or high a lot. Now a lot of bands do that too, but most bands are so blatant about it and don’t present it in a mature way, unlike the Menzingers. You kinda have to scratch the surface a little because there’s always more to them than just what you hear on the first go around.

Some stand out tracks on this album include the anthem, “Gates”, quiet chorus/loud verse “Ava House”, the self loathing “Good Things”, the title track, and “Casey”, the emotional climax. But honestly, every song is killer and the album is very well crafted melodically and lyrically. If you love the band already, there’s no reason for you not to like this album. If you are completely unfamiliar with this band, but enjoy The Flatliners, Nothington, The Lawrence Arms, or even the Alkaline Trio, then  you’ll totally dig this band. I guarantee it.

Luke Helker

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