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The Menzingers - On The Possible Past [Cassette] (Cover Artwork)

The Menzingers

The Menzingers: On The Possible Past [Cassette]On The Possible Past [Cassette] (2012)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

For those who pre-ordered On the Impossible Past, the Menzingers' debut full-length for Epitaph Records, the acoustic demos that eventually matured into that record were included as a bonus for fans. The idea for the inclusion of the demos apparently came from co-lead singer Greg Barnett's brother w.
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For those who pre-ordered On the Impossible Past, the Menzingers' debut full-length for Epitaph Records, the acoustic demos that eventually matured into that record were included as a bonus for fans. The idea for the inclusion of the demos apparently came from co-lead singer Greg Barnett's brother who was kind enough to inform him that he had fucked up for not including acoustic demos with their pre-orders à la the Mountain Goats.

Probably because of the limited quantities in circulation (Google and Mediafire are your friends however) and the extremely positive critical and fan reaction to On the Impossible Past, this gem may fall into the abyss of just being a collectors piece. Although in reality it is something so much more.

Prima facie the demos come off as a novelty piece of roughly recorded acoustic versions of songs that have yet to be fully actualized. Once the poor quality of the recordings is bypassed, however, the listener is invited into the musicianship of the Menzingers at their most intimate. Like the full-length, On the Possible Past starts with "Good Things;" much of the punch is lost sans the accompaniment of a full band, but a new appreciation is gained for the minimalist lyrics and how well they introduce the record. "Burn After Writing" remains my least favorite track on both albums and is probably the only track that offers nothing new or poignant as an acoustic demo.

The two stand out tracks of the tape are the original renditions of "Sun Hotel" and "I Can't Seem to Tell." "Sun Hotel" is arguably better as a demo, and the lyrical quality blows the final version of the song out of the water. When you are cutting out lines like "I remember you well at the sun hotel where we were famous / and our hearts were fucking legends," you clearly have to be confident in your abilities as a lyricist (as Barnett should be). "I Can't Seem to Tell" is more or less a straight up acoustic edition of the final product, but with an alternate line leading into the chorus that must have been an impossibly (see what I did there?) tough decision to alter for the final album. Overall these demos are an enjoyable experience even for the most passing of Menzingers fan; they should not be missed if you enjoyed the full-length in any capacity.

 

 
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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.
TrustyChordz (May 8, 2012)

Oh, wait. I wrote that last comment before hearing the demo version. I guess the demo version is pretty much a cover. Although there are a good amount of lyric changes.

TrustyChordz (May 8, 2012)

No, it's not a cover. It's a reference, which is completely different. The only line that is taken from the Cohen song is "I remember you well at the sun hotel". The lyrics are great and entirely their own, aside from the reference (which this band is fond of doing). The Obituaries also has a reference to Nabokov.

cbsrocksteady (April 12, 2012)

Really surprised in the amount of people that have no idea that song is a fucking Cohen song. I know he's not the most present artist in the minds of punks worldwide, but fuck, that song has been covered almost as much as Last Caress.

Blackjaw_ (April 11, 2012)

Listened to it once, probably won't again. The actual album is great though.

bowlercap (April 11, 2012)

Except that that particular "Sun Hotel" lyric isn't even Greg's.

kylewagoner (April 11, 2012)

Burn After Reading IS a hook! The whole song! I don't understand...

77Punker (April 10, 2012)

Excellent album, didn't hear the demos yet. Favorite track is Gates. Agree with the reviewer, just can't get into "Burn After Reading"....listened to it many times... has no hooks for me @ all...

mclz (April 10, 2012)

Yeah, Sun Hotel the album version is AMAZING and my favorite song by them....the acoustic demo version..not to much,

donovanjames (April 10, 2012)

Good review, amazing record. Haven't heard the demos yet.

Spazway (April 10, 2012)

"Remember the says when I had a conscience? Slightly audible, but it's still worth mentioning like a flood it comes without any warning".
"Remember the says when I had a conscience? Yeah. Me neither".

I can't seem to tell which one I like better...

renaldo69 (April 10, 2012)

ava's song killed and kicked ass. great album

SteveBrown (April 10, 2012)

I Can't Seem To Tell was my favourite song on Impossible Past, but I always felt the line "remember when I had a conscience? Me neither" kept it from being as good as it could be. Frig, I wish they hadn't changed it.

souldoubt (April 10, 2012)

Had absolutely no idea that was leneord cohen almost verbatim. Well played sir.

Spazway (April 10, 2012)

Greg Barnett is a fairy handsome guy... we should've extrapolated those sun hotel lyrics weren't his own.

exitenglish1208 (April 10, 2012)

the acoustic version of sun hotel is basically a leonard cohen cover, so to be fair he didn't write all of those lyrics (someone on the orgsummit pointed it out, i'm not cool enough to have known myself). still an awesome-ly good song.
check out the original though - chelsea hotel, it's also a pretty good little dittie.

kylewagoner (April 10, 2012)

Disagree about "Sun Hotel." The album version is the best song they've written (in my opinion). It's at least my favorite.

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