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The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past (Cover Artwork)

The Menzingers

The Menzingers: On the Impossible PastOn the Impossible Past (2012)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BreadedBreaded
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"All good things must fall apart." So go the lyrics on the opening track, "Good Things," on the Menzinger's latest effort On the Impossible Past. That line on the very first track sums up the feeling of the entire album. Classic Menzingers. After Chamberlain Waits, it seemed the group was in .
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"All good things must fall apart."

So go the lyrics on the opening track, "Good Things," on the Menzinger's latest effort On the Impossible Past. That line on the very first track sums up the feeling of the entire album. Classic Menzingers.

After Chamberlain Waits, it seemed the group was in a transition phase, looking for a break from the punk of their first two releases. It was undoubtedly a great album, yet it seemed to be in some sort of middle distance between two genres. On the Impossible Past, a branch of pop-punk, punk rock,and alternative, seems to nail the sound the Menzingers were meant for. Tom May's voice is better than ever, the riffs are catchy and memorable, even more so than the ones from Chamberlain Waits, and the lyrics capture what the Menzingers are all about.

After a simple yet awesome opening song, the album rolls into "Burn After Writing," a duet between Tom and Greg Barnett. These two, both sounding incredible on their own, form a perfect melody and complement each other really well. "Obituaries" and "Gates," the album's two singles, offer a standard Menzingers song with standard Menzingers lyrics. Bad thing? No. Not one bit. These types of songs are the reason the band has the fans they do. Though, some may miss the "heavier" feel of the tracks from previous releases.

"Ava House" is one of weaker songs on the album. Tom's yells don't seem to fit in with the slow yet heavy feel of the song. It feels like it's building, but never quite gets to the peak, and never hits the drop. But right after that comes "Sun Hotel," another one of those "classic" Menzingers songs, with a feel straight from Hold On, Dodge. It's fast paced, riddled with heavy vocals and all together flows perfectly. "Sculptors and Vandals" opens with a familiar riff that I can't quite put my finger on, but is otherwise another fantastic display of Tom's vocals.

I needed to give this next song its own paragraph, because honestly I can't say enough about it. "Mexican Guitars" is not only the best song on the album, it's also the greatest song the Menzingers have ever written. The opening guitars roll into the song, reminiscent of "I Was Born," and even may evoke fond feelings of '90s punk for some. The lyrics, much like the guitars, are almost nostalgic. "You were an old friend / That covered up your innocence with bad tattoos / Of all the bands you loved in high school / The ones you said I had to listen to all the time." It's an ode to the past and, as the album name suggests, how distant and "impossible" it can feel. The memories we have, the feelings we had, and may still have.This song alone sums up the entire album perfectly.

The title track offers a sound that you'd be more accustomed to hearing on a Gaslight Anthem album, but the break after "Mexican Guitars" fits, and hits hard. Once again (broken record alert!) Tom's voice shines through. "Nice Things" is another song that could have fit perfectly on A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology, Tom's voice sounds like the one we were used to, as does the guitar work, but overall a song that could have been cut from the album. Not bad, just doesn't quite fit. "Casey" and "I Can't Seem to Tell" are both quality songs, though, with the former fitting close to "Mexican Guitars" lyrics-wisel. Finally, "Freedom Bridge" closes out the nearly 42 minute album (insane!) with a slow placed sum up of the entire album.

On the Impossible Past is about regrets, memories, lost friends, lost loves. It's about being torn between wanting to hang onto the past and wanting to move into the future. The Menzingers, while losing the "heavy" sound they once had, have morphed into a new being. On the Impossible Past isn't a story. It's a biography. Not of the members. It's a biography of the past. It succeeds as much on a musical level as it does on a lyrical level. Tom's voice is better than ever. The riffs are catchier than ever. The Menzingers are better than ever. This album has enough to suit both old fans and new fans alike.They certainly didn't "fuck this up."

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Flatliners - CavalcadeAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Clash - London CallingHot Water Music - ExisterAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former Clarity

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Thrusters (April 23, 2013)

despite only being a year old, this record's been with me through a lot of things. Definitely my favorite of 2012, probably going to be one I look back on as a fond reflection of my youth in ten to twenty years. Vocals and hooks are incredible.

oldenglish83 (January 30, 2013)

This ripe old turd got album of the year?! Oh dear.

Did we all forget Propagandhis ' Failed States' or Pennywises ' All Or Nothing'?

I'm off to listen to Dead Ending to make the world OK again.

Oh, and if ' True North' by Bad Religion isn't AOTY 2013 then the results have been fixed!!!

Qrobur (January 5, 2013)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. This is PunkNews' album of the year. Really?

I should declare that I'm definitely "old school" punk, by which I mean London circa 1977. If you think "old" means "out of touch" you can stop reading now; it's your loss.

For those of you still with me, this is not that good a record and is certainly not one deserving of an "album of the year" accolade. It follows the stereotypical "punk" formula of this day and age; four-square drumming, heavily compressed guitar sound, alternating barre chords and short arpeggiated breaks, navel-gazing lyrics and a whining mid-Atlantic singer. Compared to its distant predecessors it lacks vitality, political awareness, rhythmic subtlety (was the bass player even awake during the recording sessions?), aggression, anger and almost everything that, in this writer's book, makes for punk rock. In short, it's radio-friendly filler. It may as well be Green Day for all the interest and relevance it has.

It was possible to produce good, punky music in 2012; see the White Lung album, for instance. However, "On The Impossible Past" is a simple, unremarkable, sub-par rock record.

angryderek (January 3, 2013)

garbage record

theproblemwithjeggings (November 21, 2012)

album of the year for sure.

sciulli (September 6, 2012)

Ava House is so good fat tony WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF?

love this record.

pokinatcha (June 1, 2012)

Its a stronger record than Chamberlain Waits. Repeated listens, which are rewarded in spades, has made this clear to me. And I say this as Chamberlain is the most played album on my iPhone. Give it a chance and I think you'll agree.

melvin (May 25, 2012)

i liked chamberlain waits alot. it was exciting, had momentum, differentiation of the songs from one another, tempo changes in the songs, etc. This new one that I've only listened to once so far sounds slow, simple, boring, and sad. It sounds like a sad sack Gaslight Anthem. Now they don't have as much to make them stand out from the pack of amplified Americana punk.

Thumbs (May 21, 2012)

Thumbs up.

jake83 (May 16, 2012)

This is gonna be a tough record to beat for album of the year. Get's better with every listen.

Do you want nice things? Sure you do!

fattony (May 10, 2012)

I've now spun this at least 30 times and I'm still not sick of it. It's a near-perfect album - I'm crazy about every song except "Ava House," and even that one's still pretty fucking good. If this isn't my album of the year, then whatever manages to top it will create world peace.

bowlercap (May 1, 2012)

This is going to be one of the best albums of the year. I don't know how anything can beat it.

nickyno (April 28, 2012)

I wish "Sun Hotel" sounded like how they play it live, with the extended jam....soooo good

burk (April 28, 2012)

a solid and beautifully written and produced record. My fav of 2012 so far. I love Casey. I wish it was longer though.

bowlercap (April 11, 2012)

The passion in this record is unmeasurable. I'm in shock. Although at this point I guess I shouldn't be.

shenaniganss (April 3, 2012)

Lyrics on this album hit home pretty hard for me. Top contender for best of the year, not a single song to skip over.

AmateurChemist (March 21, 2012)

I only liked a select few songs from Chamberlain Waits, but this album has a lot more depth and is overall a stronger release for me

NewKid (March 12, 2012)

I completely agree with the sentiment of the review, but completely disagree with all the choices you chose to highlight.

descendentmark (March 5, 2012)

Holy Shit this is a great album! First Epitaph album I bought in years.

xherojuanax (March 3, 2012)

I think this album is far superior to Chamberlain Waits. I'm glad to see they've ditched the awkward screams and weak filler tracks ("Come Here Often?"). They've matured and developed their own unique sound. A thoroughly enjoyable album from start to finish.

Misinterpreter (March 3, 2012)

I probably don't like this album as much, musically, as Chamberlian Waits, but this album is better lyrically and feels more cohesive and unified. The themes on this album are just great. "Casey", "Good Things", and "Burn After Writing" are easily my favourites.

AK3punk (March 3, 2012)

The production on this album is incredible. It sounds fantastic. I got into these dudes two years ago, I love their previous material. This album is an evolution and their best work to date. I'll be damned if "Gates" isn't one of the best punk rock songs written in the last 10 years, it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Bravo Menzingers, bravo...

Marchelo (March 2, 2012)

This is really an awesome record. I don't get nor I don't care about all the bullshit being thrown to each other in this page, but if you don't have the minimum sensibility to appreciate how this is, at the very least, a nice album, aside of if you think they're gonna sell out, or whatever you don't like from their sound, you should really go back to listening to hot water music's no division or belvedere's angels live in my town on repeat. I don't care wich one. Open your goddamn minds a little bit and don't just pretend you're the boss of the business and you have the ability to tell everybody their taste is shit even with a still pretty underground band.

mill83 (March 2, 2012)

Haven't heard it yet, but the saggy bewbs on the cover are turning me off.

AgainstYou (March 2, 2012)

Weird, but awesome. It's a slow punk album with great writing.

So I'm marching up to your gaaaaaaaaaaaates today
To throw my lonely soul away

coffee_bandit (March 2, 2012)

It's not "bad" in any shape or form, I think people are just way overreacting to this album just because of how legendary Chamberlain was and because well...its the Menzingers, and it's true they're awesome dudes. I knew this wasn't going to top Chamberlain, but it really doesn't even come close to any of their other records or EPs. An album full of mid-tempo songs from them feels rushed and frankly boring to me, I feel like they can put out MUCH better music than this. Obituaries is by far the best track, because it has that anthemic Menzingers feel to it, but pretty much everything else, aside from a few great lyrical spots or hooks, is bland to me. Listened to it a lot, putting it away now.

Alien (March 1, 2012)

excellent.

Sinman (March 1, 2012)

I thought that this record complimented "Chamberlain Waits" quite nicely. And though they've progressed since "A Lesson In The Abuse of Information Technology" I feel like the things that originally defined this band still resonate in their sound. I also have to disagree with "Breaded" on the "Ava House" track. The energetic rise in the vocals adds to the emotion of the song which this record is obviously laced with.

calvinrhodes1 (February 29, 2012)

Lots of warm feelings and great songs here. I just feel like it might be a tad ostentatious and overrated. I still really like it and it grows on me more every time I listen.

Giogionet (February 26, 2012)

I cannot stand when people come to an album review page and troll like Echosmyron. If you do not like this album awesome. Let people type how they feel. Are you that enammerred with your own opinion that you have to make other people feel like shit for how they feel about something!? You need to find some self esteem and realize it does not matter how cool you seem or look by the bands you like. Great you like a certain style of music and the Menzingers do not fit that. Why does it matter if everyone knows that? Got a case of small dick syndrome? Or did your parents not show you enough attention as a child!?

glacierfanclub (February 26, 2012)

Listen to Rivalries for instance

Fuck, that is a good song.

glacierfanclub (February 26, 2012)

It grew on me with time, and the first three songs are really really good. However, it just isn't nearly anywhere as good as Chamberlain Waits. I have the new album playing on Spotify all the time, and once they run out and CW comes on, it just reiterates the point.

keithybobeefy (February 23, 2012)

Every so often an album comes out that hits me at the perfect time. 2008 it was Gaslight Anthems '59 Sound, in 2009 it was Manchester Orchestra's Mean Everything to Nothing, and this year it's On the Impossible Past. So fucking good.

trw44ws (February 23, 2012)

I kind of get tired of listening after On The Impossible Past (song), but this album is quite good. Chamberlain Waits was better.

atomicgarden89 (February 23, 2012)

I personally think it's their best record yet. It may be laid back, but that's what I like most about it. Just because it doesn't sound like D4 doesn't mean it's not a great record. P.S. I love D4, I just think most of you people are pieces of shit. I mean come on, you voted Bomb The Music Industry as your favorite record of 2011....

EchosMyron (February 23, 2012)

What?

jizzo (February 22, 2012)

I think I know what the guy meant by "Pretentious" review of this album? I don't think he literally meant your review was that stunning that it was actually "Pretentious" he meant the fact that you actually think that and you type it it the comments " i'm still waiting for someone to explain to me bla blah blah" is s he actually means your such a pretentious fuckin douchbag that you actually would do that. your another one don't shit about punk rock

EchosMyron (February 22, 2012)

Not diggin' it bro. How am I supposed to punk out with my orgcore dudes with music this laid-back?

desertburst92 (February 22, 2012)

Love the album, not crazy about Ava House and the song On the Impossible Past. I thought that based on listening to The Obituaries so early that most of the songs would be like it so I was thrown off a bit. Other than that 4.5/5.

jeffbagwell (February 22, 2012)

Doesn't top Hold On, Dodge or Chamberlain Waits, but still a solid album.

Blackjaw_ (February 22, 2012)

Solid all the way through; their best album yet.

Though I believe it was ThePopeOfChili-Town who said "music is definitely a competition", and The Sidekicks are winning it by a mile.

misterspike (February 22, 2012)

Lyrically, I really like it. Musically, just falls on its side for me. Not as urgent as I had hoped.

charliedecker (February 22, 2012)

really like the record. but from my download code. is there a little too long of a gap between Impossible past and Nice things? feels like there should be no gap..

anarchypants (February 22, 2012)

I like it a lot - it's a fun album to get into

likeaparasite (February 22, 2012)

About what I expected. Much like their last album, it has a few truly stellar tracks (this time it's "Good Things", "Burn After Writing", "The Obituaries", and "Sun Hotel") and a whole bunch of disappointing, generic filler. I don't want to be too negative about it, because I like those four songs so much and have been listening to them incessantly, but it is really frustrating when a band starts off so strong and then can't maintain that quality for the whole album. I mean, this is like a radio band's album back in the '90s. Some awesome singles in a sea of mediocrity.

On the plus side, I do think those four 'singles' are better than the better songs on their last album, with the exception of "I Was Born". This doesn't surprise me, because I knew they'd never top that song. Calling one of the songs on this album the best thing they've ever done (and not even one of the 'Big 4!') is crazy when "I Was Born" looms so large over everything they do, and nothing here even comes close to equaling it.

That song would be hard for ANY band to top, not just the one that wrote it. Pure audio perfection, epic and enthralling for every second of its duration and one of the greatest songs I've ever heard.

Being mad at them for not topping "I Was Born" would be like being mad at Steven Spielberg because his latest movie isn't as good as "Jaws". They've already made their masterpiece and anything good we get after that song is just a bonus.

jacknife737 (February 21, 2012)

I don't know why other bands plan on releasing new music this year. Nothing's going to be able to top this.

theproblemwithfire (February 21, 2012)

"Beer is terrible."

You might be able to make this statement if your knowledge of beer goes as far as PBR or Bud Light. I am a little spoiled to live in a microbrewery mecca, though.

Can't get into this stuff. Sounds tailored for pop radio play and completely safe and predictable. American Steel meets Gaslight Anthem for dudes that wear fedoras with their flannel shirts. Meh.

MN_DrNick (February 21, 2012)

Glad everybody fed the Echos troll. Good job.

Tudor (February 21, 2012)

Terrible album.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Beer is terrible.

bakedtoast (February 21, 2012)

Hey Breaded, You are still wrong. Nice Things is sung by Tom not Greg. Take your time and hit the (Preview) button before you post stuff. Especially an entire review.

woodprop (February 21, 2012)

Aside from The Obituaries and a few hooks here and there, I can't get into it.

whatchokesbegin (February 21, 2012)

Good lord. I came in here to say that I don't think this is nearly as good as their other two records. Instead I find the walls smeared with shit, and of course, EchosMyron is sitting in the middle of floor, dick in hand, soaked in his own tears. Of course, now I feel completely stupid for not expecting it.

Thankfully, this has convinced me to go out for a beer with some friends, somewhere far, far away from this miserable pit of despair.

And I'm definitely not cleaning up this mess.

hayman (February 21, 2012)

I just wanna see a GBV ultimate playlist in every article.
Stop picking on me. Fuck you all.

hayman (February 21, 2012)

Pretty damn good.

damnitsderek (February 21, 2012)

Fuck, this is even better than I was expecting.

publichousing (February 21, 2012)

"Nice Things" is the best song they've ever written.

bgartrell (February 21, 2012)

Can't really believe I'm saying this, but I'm extremely disappointed. It's got some good ones, but as a whole it seems to be lacking something. Lyrics are pretty good, but the music in general could have been written by just about any other band.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Also, I believe you mistakingly gave it a 9.

Breaded (February 21, 2012)

Gah, so many lyrical errors.

Wish I spent more time with this album before writing the review.

For the most part I stand on what I said, though I'd reconsider calling "Nice Things" (Which was sung by GREG not TOM) an unneeded track. Also, I'd reemphasize the importance of the title song, as I feel the whole album (lyrically) more or less revolves around it. The memories he once had all potentially shattered by the car crash really shows the album in a new light.

Spending more time, I'd also take back what I said about "Mexican Guitars" being the best song on the record. While it is one of the finer tracks, I feel it is outclassed by the closing track, Freedom Bridge.

Still, a few weeks after first hearing this album, I'm still not tired of it.

Can't wait to see these guys in Philly.

conebone69 (February 21, 2012)

Lowered my expectations but still very disappointing

Easily their worst record as of now

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Shit band.

eatdogs (February 21, 2012)

wow, these comments bring back all the fond memories of My Chemical Romance, Aiden, Falloutboy, scene core reviews and the anonymous postings from the kids. i think a lot of those reviews were from achors which i loved reading. they brought the lolz.

personally, i haven't listened to the menzingers since the hold on dodge ep, but i guess that's my fault. i've missed so much music since my computer gave up the ghost...

kylewagoner (February 21, 2012)

So much emphasis put on Tom May...when Greg sings most of the songs and he's fucking amazing. Album of the year, I'm thinking. We'll see if I'm proven wrong.

killtaker (February 21, 2012)

"Only on this site could you be taken seriously by other users after stating something like that. But you've proven many times how much of an assclown you are, as well as how terrible your taste in music is, so your comments don't hold any weight."

You are so funny...you never directly answer any questions or comments. Makes me think you are not really that bright just a loudmouth.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

*insulted

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Since someone brought up/insilted Guided by Voices for no reason at all, I thought I'd repost my ultimate GbV/Uncle Bob playlist to point out how many great songs he and Tobin Sprout have written.

1. A Salty Salute
2. Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox
3. The Official Ironman Rally Song
4. Tractor Rape Chain
5. Subspace Biographies
6. Fair Touching
7. Let It Rest for a Little While
8. Game of Pricks (EP Version)
9. The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
10. Quality of Armor
11. Girls of Wild Strawberries
12. Evil Speakers
13. I'm a Strong Lion
14. Now to War (Electric Version)
15. Teenage FBI
16. Waves
17. Chevy Marigold
18. Girl Named Captain
19. Navigating Flood Regions
20. Underwater Explosions
21. I Am a Tree
22. She Wants to Know
23. Yellow Knife No. 5
24. Awful Bliss
25. Shocker in Gloomtown
26. Interest Position
27. A Visit to the Creep Doctor
28. Ate It Twice
29. Cyclopean Runway
30. Cheyenne
31. Pop Zeus
32. (I'll Name You) The Flame That Cries
33. The Town That's After Me
34. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront
35. Cut-Out Witch
36. Circle of Trim
37. Postal Blowfish
38. Big School
39. Wormhole
40. Tomorrow Will Not Be Another Day
41. Closer You Are
42. My Kind of Soldier
43. Color of My Blade
44. Hey Hey Spaceman
45. Marchers in Orange (Electric Version)
46. Non-Absorbing
47. Tattoo Mission
48. Smothered in Hugs
49. Yours to Keep
50. Echos Myron
51. Drag Days
52. Avalanche Aminos
53. Twilight Campfighter
54. Make Use
55. Running Off with the Fun City Girls
56. Time Machines
57. Everybody Think I'm a Raincloud
58. The Hard Way
59. 1 Years Old
60. Dust Devil
61. Melted Pat
62. Jane of the Waking Universe
63. Stiff Me
64. Come On Baby Grace
65. Striped White Jets
66. Skin Parade
67. Bull Spears
68. The Numbered Head
69. Do the Earth
70. Johnny Optimist
71. Sometimes I Cry
72. Mincer Ray
73. Rhoda Rhoda
74. Weedking
75. To Remake the Young Flyer
76. Dayton, Ohio (19 Something and 5)
77. Catherine from Mid-October
78. Ha Ha Man (Long Version)
79. Delayed Reaction Brats
80. Black Ghost Pie
81. I.B.C.
82. Gold Kick
83. Tropical Robots
84. Top Chick Silver Chord
85. The Girls Will Make It Happen
86. Perfect This Time
87. Trader Vic
88. Slick as Snails
89. Liquid Indian
90. Wrinkled Ghost
91. Real
92. Christian Animation Torch Carriers
93. Island of Lost Lucys
94. Tour Guide at the Winston Churchill Memorial
95. I Drove a Tank
96. Buzzards and Dreadful Crows
97. Circus World
98. Heavy Crown
99. Auditorium
100. Motor Away
101. Man Called Aerodynamics
102. Little Lines
103. Stifled Man Casino
104. Expecting Brainchild
105. Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
106. My Thoughts Are a Gas
107. Underground Initiations
108. Get Under It
109. White Whale
110. Taco, Buffalo, Birddog and Jesus
111. Systems Crash
112. Keep Me Down
113. We All Got Out of the Army
114. Captain's Dead
115. Lips of Steel
116. No Sky
117. Surgical Focus
118. Something Strawberry
119. Star, Stripes and Crack Pipes
120. Useless Inventions
121. Portable Men's Society
122. My Son Cool
123. Your Name Is Wild
124. Mr. Ghost Town
125. Blimps Go 90
126. Gonna Never Have to Die
127. Wings of Thorn
128. Damn Good Mr. Jam
129. Each Is Good in His Own Home
130. 158 Years of Beautiful Sex
131. Ester's Day
132. Supermarket the Moon
133. King and Caroline
134. Go Inside
135. Twig
136. Choking Tara (Creamy Version)
137. Little Head
138. Learning to Hunt
139. Privately
140. Fly Into Ashes
141. Mannequin's Complaint
142. Tight Globes
143. If We Wait
144. I Am Decided
145. Gold Star for Robot Boy
146. Home by Ten
147. Some Drilling Implied
148. Sheetkickers
149. In the Bathroom
150. Exit Flagger
151. Dancing Girls and Dancing Men
152. Insane/Cool It
153. Skills Like This
154. Beaten by the Target
155. 100 Colors
156. You Satisfy Me
157. Flat Beauty
158. Everywhere with Helicopter
159. An Earful O' Wax
160. Isolation Drills
161. Zoo Pie
162. Harboring Exiles
163. As We Go Up, We Go Down
164. Gleemer
165. Tabby and Lucy
166. Chasing Heather Crazy
167. Blessed in an Open Head
168. Metal Mothers
169. Canned Food Demons
170. Paradise Is Not So Bad
171. People Are Leaving
172. The Best of Jill Hives
173. (It's Good to Be) Bug Boy
174. Cocksoldiers and Their Postwar Stubble
175. Watch Me Jumpstart
176. Oh, Blinky
177. Queen of Cans and Jars
178. It Is Divine
179. Living Upside Down
180. Two Girl Area
181. Not Behind the Fighter Jet
182. Jimmy
183. Toppings Take the Cake
184. Wrecking Now
185. Eye Razors
186. Fly Away (Terry Sez)
187. Chocolate Boy
188. At the Farms
189. Asia Minor
190. John the Dwarf Wants to Become an Angel
191. She Goes Off at Night
192. On Top of the Vertigo
193. Surgeon Is Complete
194. Glow Boy Butlers
195. Bunco Men
196. Whiskey Ships
197. Unbaited Vicar of Scorched Earth
198. A Good Flying Bird
199. Maggie Turns to Flies
200. I Am a Scientist
201. Things I Will Keep
202. Silence Be Destroyed
203. Dusted (Electric Version)
204. Cyclone Utilities
205. Old Battery
206. Freedom Rings
207. Conqueror of the Moon
208. Sleep Over Jack
209. Love Your Spaceman
210. Back to the Lake
211. The Brides Have Hit Glass
212. The Gasoline Drinkers
213. Exploding Anthills
214. Mushroom Art
215. On the Tundra
216. Pendulum
217. Wished I Was a Giant
218. Tricyclic Looper
219. Matter Eater Lad
220. Wondering Boy Poet (Piano Version)
221. From a Voice Plantation
222. Acorns and Orioles
223. Hardcore UFOs
224. Dusty Bushworms
225. My Valuable Hunting Knife
226. Unspirited
227. The Vicelords
228. Steeple of Knives
229. Perch Warble
230. Dodging Invisible Rays
231. Janet Wait
232. Optional Bases Opposed
233. Liar's Tale
234. Dropping the Bomb
235. Post-Hydrate Update
236. Run Son Run
237. Unstable Journey
238. Why Did You Land?
239. Kicker of Elves
240. Big Boring Wedding
241. Cocaine Jane
242. The Who Vs. Porky Pig
243. Sot
244. Let's Go Vike
245. Jar of Cardinals
246. The Right Thing
247. Sister I Need Wine
248. Much Better Mr. Buckles
249. The Singing Razorblade
250. Hot Freaks
251. Make a Record for Lo-Life
252. Beg for a Wheelbarrow
253. Sensational Gravity Boy
254. All Men Are Freezing
255. Tired of Knocking
256. There Are Other Worlds
257. Your Rate Will Never Go Up
258. Hang Mr. Kite
259. Run Wild
260. Nude Metropolis
261. Straw Dogs
262. The Future Is in Eggs
263. Dunce Codex
264. Announcers and Umpires
265. Kiss Only the Important Ones
266. I Surround You Naked
267. Downed (Cheap Trick Cover)
268. Wire Greyhounds
269. The Way Out
270. Release the Sunbird
271. The Pipe Dream of Instant Prince Whippet
272. I Wanna Be Your Man in the Moon
273. Spiderfighter
274. Finks
275. Alright
276. Garden Smarm
277. The Drinking Jim Crow
278. Stabbing a Star
279. The Other Place
280. Demons Are Real
281. Weatherman and Skin Goddess
282. Our Gaze
283. The Closets of Henry
284. Of Mites and Men
285. How Loft I Am?
286. Spring Tigers (Electric)
287. Car Language
288. I'm a Widow
289. Sucker of Pistol City
290. Little Whirl
291. Jabberstroker
292. He's the Uncle
293. Dig Through My Window
294. Supernatural Car Lover
295. Track Star
296. Chicken Blows
297. Glad Girls
298. Redmen and Their Wives
299. Huffman Prairie Flying Field
300. Don't Stop Now

slymer (February 21, 2012)

I guess I need to check out this new Classics of Love record.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Only on this site could you be taken seriously by other users after stating something like that. But you've proven many times how much of an assclown you are, as well as how terrible your taste in music is, so your comments don't hold any weight.

telegraphrocks (February 21, 2012)

Great album, and a much better band than Guided By Voices.

skavoovee (February 21, 2012)

@oldpunkerforever like I said, just barely. I'm not super into that hardcore or whatever sound Classics of Love does (and don't care to debate what it is), so it took me a bit to really get into it. Anyway, there's still a whole 8 months for CoL to come out on top for me and either way, I'm really into both of these albums.

I haven't heard the new No Trigger yet, I'll be sure to check it out

killtaker (February 21, 2012)

"Oh, but you are wrong. It's one thing to enjoy this thing as guilty-pleasure music (like I enjoy NUFAN nowadays), but to say it's one of the best and most important albums of 2012 is objectively wrong."

Maybe it is one of the most important albums to me. Is that objectively wrong?

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

The two best punk albums of the year so far are the Mind Spider's Meltdown and the Sonic Avenues' self-titled. I'm not sure if the Cloud Nothings' Attack on Memory can be regarded as a proper punk album, but if so, it rounds out my top three.

nedsammy (February 21, 2012)

I can't offer any deep insight, but deeply disappointed as I was with a lot of Chamberlain Waits, what I've heard of this is good stuff. Good review too.

oldpunkerforever (February 21, 2012)

skavoovee, this beats out Classics of Love?? now I have heard it all. I want to add that the new No Trigger smokes the new " zingers" out of the water, easy. For me, COL and NT are neck and neck for punk cd of the year ( I know, its only feb but come on) I play those 2 back to back and I cannot get enough-oldpunker-

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

The Hold Steady are very good at that kind of storytelling, actually. But yeah, besides them, blah.

wallofyouth (February 21, 2012)

i think he's saying "should," not "must," regarding all good things and what they do

also i never really liked this kind of uber-specific americana storytelling stuff. "some kids played hackey sack while others just got high" blah

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Oh, but you are wrong. It's one thing to enjoy this thing as guilty-pleasure music (like I enjoy NUFAN nowadays), but to say it's one of the best and most important albums of 2012 is objectively wrong.

88fl_rules (February 21, 2012)

It's ok I guess ...some good songs, but I feel like i've heard this style a million times now. I don't really get all the hype. Classics of love ST is a much better record overall

88fl_rules (February 21, 2012)

It's ok I guess ...some good songs, but I feel like i've heard this style a million times now. I don't really get all the hype. Classics of love ST is a much better record overall

joe_weasel (February 21, 2012)

echos.. pretentious - characterized by assumption of dignity or importance. every time you don't like an album or band, you make a 1000 posts detailing your disdain, not only describing why the music sucks, but why we suck as well for enjoying said music. it's one thing to have an opinion, but when declaring yours, you always seem to slip in the part of how everyone else is wrong.. it's that annoying sense of smug importance... pretentious.

Piata (February 21, 2012)

It's good, but when listening to the whole album I keep hearing "AMERICAN MUSCLE CAR" over and over and over again. It's in at least 3 songs. Why not just call the album AMERICAN MUSCLE CAR and be done with it?

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Again, no one has been able to explain what was pretentious about my brief summation of this album.

tsiege (February 21, 2012)

PS: Echos Myron you are a pretentious dick, and calling this the '59 Sound Part Two is a compliment (even though they sound nothing alike).

tsiege (February 21, 2012)

So good, but I think I might like CW more but I don't its really damn close.

originaljohnny (February 21, 2012)

i don't know this band or this record yet, but i became interested in it due to the undeniably-existing hype that surrounds it. reading through the comments below, i affirm that there is certainly a "cheap" way to approach making songs accessible. but at the same time, i'd love for some of these miserable, anxious-to-shit-on-everyone-successfull know-it-alls to spell out for me exactly what it means to create something catchy and accessible that ALSO meets the criteria for "legitimately creative". trying so fucking hard to draw that kind of a line in an area that's so subjective to the listener in this way just makes it clear that the objective is way more to "one up" everyone who is finding something good in a band...and trying to marginalize the fuck out of the band and their alleged intentions (see: major label prognostication). i may wind up agreeing with the negative criticism of this record. but i mean, i find the "genius" that other people find in matt skiba's "alcohol n' corpses" lyrics to be rather gimmicky - at the same time i don't linger around websites when new alkaline trio records come out just to shit all over everyone stroking him off.

Ravnos (February 21, 2012)

Echos is a pretentious jerkoff, but also correct. This album isn't terrible outright, but it is pretty bland and predictable. The hype train around here needs to slow down a bit.

milner (February 21, 2012)

It's an unbelievably good album. Great effort. 5*'s. I have a law exam tomorrow though, so I'm ignoring 'the obituaries' for now...

thepopeofchili-town (February 21, 2012)

Of all the big records coming out today, this is my least favorite, and it's still fantastic.

skavoovee (February 21, 2012)

This album is great. So far it's my favorite of the year, only barely beating out the Classics of Love self-titled. Like many others mentioned, Nice Things is a crucial track on this album, but I do kind of agree with you about Ava House.

Favorite Tracks: Burn After Writing, Good Things, I Can't Seem To Tell

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

If the songwriting is creative and original, there's nothing wrong with making your songs more accessible. Jawbreaker sold out with Dear You, but songs like "Accident Prone" and "Basilica" were so transcendent that it didn't matter.

fattony (February 21, 2012)

On first listen, I really like this, and I can't wait to spend more time with it. It's no CW, but those were some mighty big shoes to fill.

killabeez666 (February 21, 2012)

So this album took a few listens, but after listening to it in one piece I definitely appreciate it a lot more. I think it's funny when people complain about bands going soft or selling out or whatever. Bands change their sound all the time. After their last record, I'm not at all surprised with the way this came out. I still give it 5/5.

renaldo69 (February 21, 2012)

nice review. agreed a lot

ava house is their best to me

jizzo (February 21, 2012)

I don't mean this album, never heard it or the band. I'm sure it's good if the majority of the same ol douchbags are knocking it. And the bid to get signed by warner bros comment, whoever made that one you'd be the first one with the fucking pen in your hand if you were ever in there situation

jizzo (February 21, 2012)

I love coming to this laughing stock of a site when i need a good laugh. I love all the authorties on here that this one isn't punk enough and that is too power pop and blah blah. It's so funny cause 99% on here don't know the first thing about punk rock if it was beat into you! You guys don't know shit, go back and read some these comments, they will make you cringe. Fucking Posers

killtaker (February 21, 2012)

@EchosMyron:
"I automatically ignore ANY review that opens with a lyrical sample and that line. It's so fucking overused. Find some new material, idiot."

For a guy who claimed the other night that he was always being attacked on this site you sure are aggressive. I'm not sure in what world you would be considered a victim.

Anyway...Chamberlin Waits was my favorite record from 2010 and I really like this as well. Gonna be listening to this one for a long time. My record should arrive any day now.

filbunke (February 21, 2012)

Favorite songs so far: "Burn after writing", "Casey" and "Gates"

veep (February 21, 2012)

Wasn't that impressed after the first listen, but it seems like it could be a grower.

filbunke (February 21, 2012)

""Mexican Guitars" is not only the best song on the album, it's also the greatest song the Menzingers have ever written"

I don't know. I think there's plenty of songs on this album better than that one. And also, I like "Ava House".
All in all, great album!

nickyno (February 21, 2012)

@Baked Toast
I was thinking the same exact thing. They've done this in the past two the title track from CW had the line about Victory Gin. Also Gates eludes to that damn friend Chris. Mexican Guitars has a line very similar to Sunday Morning too.

10-4Eleanor (February 21, 2012)

This is the kind of record that, in addition to being what I feel is their best work, seems to add depth and meaning to their entire discography. It defines the Menzingers as a band and is the kind of record that deserves to be seen as a sort of period piece for the sub-culture from which it sprang. 5 stars, damnit!

Xshoutoutx (February 21, 2012)

Disclaimer: sorry to everyone who actually wanted to discuss the record. My bad for feeding Echos ego.

nocomply (February 21, 2012)

This is a great record, but I'm holding off on giving an official rating until I've had more time to spend with it.

I strongly disagree with what the reviewer said about the track "Nice Things." As someone had mentioned in the comments above, I think it's a great song and actually quite necessary when put in context of the rest of the album. Plus, I love how the song before it, "On the Impossible Past," transitions into "Nice Things" so well. Those 2 songs are actually my favorites, though "Mexican Guitars" is great too.

I sometimes feel like the record is a bit too polished and poppy for my tastes, but it's done so well I gotta give these guys a pass.

Xshoutoutx (February 21, 2012)

My comment wasn't directed at your critique in particular, more toward you just being a generally shitty, negative person that spends WAY too much time on a site dedicated to music you apparently loathe so much. Nobody enjoys your commentary, and not because it differs, but because you're a self-aggrandizing, contrarian dickwad. Get lost.

essenceoftong (February 21, 2012)

didn't like it as much as the previous album initially but it's a grower. best song is probably casey. definitely an early contender for album of the year

pallmallpunch (February 21, 2012)

Power pop didn't end in '79, but most of the bands I'd call power pop that came after (Teenage Fanclub come to mind) are heavily influenced by bands like Big Star. Don't hear much of that in this album. Lots of people read this site, so I think the standard of the reviews should be a little bit higher than taking each song and giving us your personal opinion on it. "Nice Things" is great, btw but my favorite Tom song on the album is "Sculptors and Vandals". I like the new direction, love seeing good bands evolve and change.

bakedtoast (February 21, 2012)

Shout out to Tigers Jaw that is*

bakedtoast (February 21, 2012)

I like the shout out to Mexican Guitars. "I did what I did to get away from this, cause everything that's happened has left me a total wreck...Everything that I do know is meaningless" These are basically the opening lines to Buona Pizza on Two Worlds. Also Tom reuses hits up his acoustic song on I was Born single.. "these days you'll find me where the nectar is plenty. looks are cheap and the talk is heavy" All of which are "good things" from the past.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

Power pop didn't end in 1979. Maybe I was being too kind in calling the Menzingers power pop, though. Perhaps pop rock is the ideal classification for their music, since this is most definitely their bid to get signed to a major label.

RedScare (February 21, 2012)

None of these reviews ever mention Art Of Pizza. That's bullshit.

cbsrocksteady (February 21, 2012)

These guys just write the best hooks. I don't care if its punk or not. Plain and simple these are pop songs. They're just incredibly well constructed melodies with just the right amount of power behind them. Its not like its never been done before, but they're doing it better than most. It'll take a little while to know for sure, but right now I'm pretty sure this is their best work. Hold On Dodge might still be the best.

But fuck. Good luck getting those first 4 songs out of your head.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

'EchosMyron is a pretenscious dick. The menzingers are not. Album rules"

And you're a fucking moron who can't spell. How was my critique of the album "pretentious" in any way? Please tell me what "Casey" does that's so one-of-a-kind and previously unheard of in the history of power pop. This album could have been called The '59 Sound Part 2.

Next stop for this band: Warner Bros.

pallmallpunch (February 21, 2012)

I hate when people call this kind of music power pop, and I love the Menzingers AND power pop. Its not 1979, the Menzingers aren't ripping off the Records or Big Star. This is more along the lines of straight up pop punk meets 90s pop rock. Its a great album because its coherent and provokes real feelings in me. This review is fucking awful.

BrainTrust (February 21, 2012)

I like this album a lot. Had high expactations after CW (my personal favorite album of the last few years). Sure, they are slower, but that doesn´t mean weaker. Awesome record. Best tracks: Gates, Mexican Guitars, I can´t seem to tell

magnetbox (February 21, 2012)

I find the second half a little lacking in comparison to the first, but I might just need a few more listens for them to sink in. That said, there are some really great songs here, especially Gates which reminds me way too much of myself 6-7 years ago

Xshoutoutx (February 21, 2012)

EchosMyron is a pretenscious dick. The menzingers are not. Album rules

odradek (February 21, 2012)

This album is great. This review is not. Partly because Nice Things is the best, most crucial song on the album and the reviewer says it could have been cut, and partly because it goes through track-by-track rather than looking at the album as a whole, something crucial with most albums, but especially this one.

They've slowed down and gotten more produced, but this is still the Menzingers. Regardless of whether or not it's "punk" or "mid-tempo power-pop", this is unmistakeably a Menzingers album and anyone giving them shit for "selling out" or "going soft" is dumb.

Also I'd like a list of who sings on each track. Here's my best guesses:

Good Things - Greg
Burn After Writing - Tom & Greg
The Obituaries - Greg
Gates - Greg
Ava House - Tom
Sun Hotel - Greg
Sculptors & Vandals - Tom
Mexican Guitars - Greg
On the Impossible Past - Greg
Nice Things - Tom
Casey - Greg
I Can't Seem to Tell - Greg
Freedom Bridge - Tom

angryderek (February 21, 2012)

and the award for saggiest tits in album cover history goes to...........................The 'zingers

nickyno (February 21, 2012)

I thought this was a well written review. I'm not sure if Tom May sings on the title track or if that is Greg though. Interesting you don't like "Nice Things", most people I've talked to the past month feel that segway (between "On The Impossible Past" and "Nice Things") is the best part of the album.

I found this album to be quite refreshing. It was a positive step from Chamberlain Waits. CW over the course of two years has grown considerably in popularity and reputation around these parts. So it's good to see the 'Zingers put out an album that is better in near every dimension. I remember at the acoustic Fest show Tom joking mentioned that the new album was a concept album, and in some ways there is a story told through out the album. It's an album that deserves an entire spin with each track holding its own. For me only the closing track leaves something to be desired (I can't fucking understand Tom's chorus at all, hopefully when my cassette and record get to my hands I can check the lyrics).

Side note: the bonus track is good too. It doesn't fit on the album at all, but it's another solid Tom song with an infectious chorus.

EchosMyron (February 21, 2012)

"So go the lyrics on the opening track. . ."

I automatically ignore ANY review that opens with a lyrical sample and that line. It's so fucking overused. Find some new material, idiot.

Anyhow, I took the time to actually listen to this album in full, and it's nothing special. It's nostalgic power pop with unimpressive lyrics and predictable melodies/song structures. Some of the songs, like "Casey" and "Sun Hotel," are catchy in completely utilitarian ways, but I wouldn't ever feel compelled to take this disc out and spin them. If they played on the radio, I probably wouldn't change the station. Other songs, like "Ava House" and "On the Impossible Past" are dull, aimless crap that I can't imagine anyone except fanboys (i.e. 50% of the users on this site) enjoying.

But can we please stop pretending this is a punk album? It's not. It's soft, mid-tempo power pop. No Use for a Name took a lot of shit for softening up after 1997's Making Friend, but they have never released something this slow and commercial.

oldpunkerforever (February 21, 2012)

CW was better, this, for which I have been listening to for a few days now just does not do it for me. I understand a band should grow, but what happened to all the hooks?. It all seems a bit slow ( not that there is anything wrong w that per say) just not for these guys, its like harnessing this energy that needs to come out, that never does. Oh well, there is always next time-oldpunker-

flowerfeeder (February 21, 2012)

Great record, but Mexican Guitars in not their greatest songe eva. It's not even the best song on this record. Gates is.

Rivalries is their greatest song ever.

SilentStorms (February 21, 2012)

This week on Dave's "Four or More Club - The weekly post where I tell you what records get a 4 or more out of 5.

Week 2: "Nostalgia, better left in the past"

Guttermouth - Musical Monkey

I have not listened to this album in over a decade. I assume it's like those childhood movies that you used to love but then scar you when you watch them for the first time in years. This album holds a special place in my heart... the safe deposit box where I threw away the key.

FromAbove (February 21, 2012)

Quite brilliant. Nice to see bands that continue to impress, and not disappoint. Twelve thumbs up

wearestillalive (February 21, 2012)

Not as good as Chamberlain Waits. But still good.

Banger (February 21, 2012)

So far I'm enjoying this one a lot more than Chamberlain Waits, which I found good but a little disappointing.

whoostin (February 21, 2012)

Prettty, Prettaayyy, Good!

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