The Menzingers - A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Menzingers

A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology (2007)

Go Kart

The Menzingers sound only vaguely enough like their influences to which they've gotten away with an inspired, original sounding and incredibly infectious "debut" (they self-released a rougher version of the same album with a slightly different track listing last year).

A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology contains some of the best melodies this style's heard in ages. The Menzingers harmonize like pros and deliver rousing songs with conviction and a consistently compelling nature. While they may have seemingly let up on the ska riffs a little, they still apply the occasional heavy upstroke to give the songs a little flair ("Clap Hands Two Guns"), but more often than not they deliver upbeat, gravelly pop-punk with a hint of early Against Me, likely to vocally remind some of earlier Anti-Flag. The band really hit their stride in tracks like "Alpha Kappa Fall Off a Balcony," "Victory Gin" and the title song, all of which find the band pleading desperately through a critical lens of societal antiquities and medicinal entertainment.

The thing is, the Menzingers aren't afraid to let their hearts occasionally hang out via acoustic numbers like "Coal City Blues," "Richard Coury," "No Ticket" and the brief but especially earnest "Cold Weather Gear," with their passion and youthfulness complemented by Jesse Cannon's crisp production. Cannon brings along his experience working with decidedly less traditional sounding punk acts like Saves the Day and Northstar that gives Menzingers their emotional charm without letting it come off tacky and forced.

The Menzingers already know what they're doing, and they're doing it sharply, only now they've got a more precise example of what it is.

Stream six songs off A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology