The Menzingers - The Obituaries b/w Burn After Writing [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Menzingers

The Obituaries b/w Burn After Writing [7-inch] (2012)

Red Scare

February is gearing up to be a really good month for the Menzingers. After years of touring and kicking out high quality records, the group is finally dropping their third full-length on the legendary Epitaph Records. Both as a rising band and a bunch of Bad Religion fanboys, that's gotta rule. That's still a few weeks away, though; in the meantime, former label Red Scare has a two-song taste of On the Impossible Past.

"The Obituaries" is a concise, catchy rocker with a big, if somewhat obvious, chorus. For a band on the brink of reaching a larger audience, it's kind of hard not to read into "But I will fuck this up / I fucking know it." But even if the Menzingers do indeed stumble, this song is still a winner. It has everything fans love: Passionate vocals, urgent guitars and honest imagery.

Self-doubt weighs heavily on both songs. "Burn After Writing" doesn't have a giant hook like "The Obituaries," but there's some strong pull here as well. Whether the band is copping to stolen parts ("Here's to you / The same chords that I stole / From a song that I once heard") or missing someone something fierce ("I can't fight the flame / It burns"). "Burn After Writing" feels like a sequel to "Time Tables" from Chamberlain Waits, in that the narrator is still missing that girl in the blue dress who got away, still grasping at half-remembered songs, still struggling against the heat. The musical structure is a little more open and rambling, but it suits the searching in the lyrics.

For all the weariness in the words, though, the songs are mighty catchy. Hopefully, "The Obituaries" and "Burn After Writing" are just a taste of what's to come on Impossible Past.