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The Menzingers – After the Party

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Over the first ten years of their life, The Menzingers have never shied away from their boozy reputation. Numerous mentions of alcohol – the good and the bad – are littered throughout the Philadelphia band’s first four albums. Which makes the band’s new album, After The Party, so profound – we already know what happens during the party but what happens after, once all the confetti’s been swept up, the beer’s gone flat, and music turned down? After The Party explores the themes of getting older and bridging the gap between a carefree spirit to a more responsible partner while still trying to escape the mundanity of everyday life.

    Anyone who’s been following The Menzingers over the course of their career are aware that vivid scenes and honest recollections have been a staple of the band’s lyricism and After The Party features the duo’s best work yet. The frenetic opener, “20’s (Tellin’ Lies),” sets the tone with Barnett exclaiming, “Oh yeah, oh yeah, everything is terrible” as he departs his twenties, trying to hold onto his youthful ways but ultimately realizing he’ll have to enter the uncertain future. The future also interrupts the past on first single “Lookers,” while the easy-going flow of “Bad Catholics” recalls the time they were “always dipping out before communion started.”

    But underneath all the wistful reminiscing is the realization that the present may not be as bright as it once seemed. The spirited “Midwestern States” has a couple scrambling for places to live since their “worthless diplomas” can’t pay the bills and trying to escape Middle America for the sunnier Los Angeles, finding their resolve within their strong relationship (“All our stick and pokes, all our inside jokes, we’ll regret ’em when we’re dead and sober. But we’re still breathing and the party ain’t over”). After The Party focuses a lot on how the past has strained current relationships as Barnett and May seek out how to be better partners. “Black Mass” is a somber number buoyed by Eric Keen’s bass work as May pleads that he’ll “do anything to make you stay.” The raucous “Wings (Your Wild Years),” however, focuses on if our protagonist is doing enough to be the man his girlfriend deserves. And then there’s the growing up on the jovial “Bars,” as Barnett realizes that “no good’ll come from stumbling home in the sun.”

    Everything seems to come to a head on the album’s title track. Barnett looks back fondly on all the good times had in the basement but ultimately grasps that when everything is over “it’s just me and you.” This new outlook on life is soundtracked by Barnett and May’s roaring guitar riffs, making the track the pinnacle of the album’s thirteen tracks and once again showcases the striking brilliance of The Menzingers’ storytelling.

    After The Party is exploding with melody as well. The chorus from “Lookers” was built to be screamed throughout arenas, while the earnest “Charlie’s Army” was made for jukeboxes in your local dive bar. The cathartic punch of “Midwestern States” will be seared into your memory, along with the sprawling, anthemic “House on Fire.” It goes without saying that this is the best sounding album in The Menzingers’ discography, its seamless balance of power and nuance all courtesy of producer Will Yip.

    Just turning 31 myself, this album will resonate for many of us – After The Party is the never ending battle of being thirty and yearning for the misdeeds of the past while realizing that you’re just too old for this shit sometimes. So while this may be The Menzingers growing up and all that, After The Party puts an exclamation point on the band’s remarkable run of poignant and genre-defining punk rock and boldly catapults the band into the next chapter of their careers.

  2. Former Planets


    So much better than Rented World.
    princexero likes this.
  3. skurt

    Sleekest of beaks. So Good.

    This giving On The Impossible Past a run for its money as my favorite Menzingers album. Fantastic Review as well Drew.
    somethingliketj and deadwrong like this.
  4. MFA

    See you in hell, or see you when I see you. Prestigious

    Great review but Black Mass is sung by Greg and Bars is sung by Tom whereas in the review Drew has put them the other way round hah
  5. devenstonow

    Noobie Supporter

    Where's the "wings" title for Your Wild Years coming from? My leaked copy and, now, Google Play stream both exclude that
  6. bmir14

    Regular Supporter

    That opener rips. This album is everything i wanted it to be. Fuck yeah Menzingers.

    Now, if only i can get into their sold out album release show tonight.
    SEANoftheDEAD likes this.
  7. nl5011

    Trusted Supporter

    Really got to what the core of this album is about, well done Drew!
  8. Whoops I guess I just switched the names around when writing that
  9. My advance had "wings" in the title
  10. jorbjorb

    7 rings

    Awesome album. Awesome review.
  11. SoundInTheSignals

    @Bake_Wear /

    I think this might be the best review you've written in a while. After 30 the biggest misdeed you can probably accomplish is over eating your daily calories limit haha. It's all about perspective ;-).
  12. efp722


    This is their first album that clicked with me. I am really liking it. As my big 30 is fast approaching, a lot the themes on this record are hitting hard and true for me.
    Clowes and Chris Prindle like this.
  13. Steve_JustAGuy


    Ain't that the truth @Drew Beringer, sums up entirely how I'm feeling about this album without having me to put in words myself, so thank you. Think this one is going to stick with me for quite sometime.
    somethingliketj likes this.
  14. Jack Wilmott

    Self-described freestyle wizard poet.

    I think this album will certainly grow on me and I'm alread liking it but I don't think it's at the level of the last 2
  15. Zip It Chris Feb 3, 2017
    (Last edited: Feb 3, 2017)
    Zip It Chris

    Be kind; everyone is on their own journey.

    The songwriting/lyrics on this album make it a masterpiece for me...'Midwestern States' especially...'Tellin' Lies' is a bit of a weak opener upon first few listens though, but I'm sure it'll fit right in with more time.
    Heart likes this.
  16. Timmiluvs

    I play video games fast -- @Timmiluvs Prestigious

  17. JWard


    This wasn't even a fun hate listen. It just got too sad to realize this is all they're good for anymore. They've entered the Gaslight era of just playing Mad Libs with the same themes to come up with song ideas and it's producing literally some of the dumbest songs I've ever heard.
  18. beckerm6


    much better than Rented World. aoty contender for sure
  19. Butinsmallsteps


    I cant explain how much im immediately loving this album. Midwestern States is a JAM
  20. Bryan Diem


    Picking up my copy this evening, having a fun night out, and then coming down from it all by giving this an inaugural listen. Review got me even more hype.
  21. parkerxcore

    Somebody's gonna miss us Supporter

    I love this album. Lookers is a damn anthem.
  22. bloodinthesand


    This album really is incredible! well done!
  23. Honeymagnolia

    Regular Supporter

    Love this album. Was my most anticipated and certainly lived up to that.
  24. paperlung

    there's no place like my room Supporter

    So good, I freakin love it. The only weak spot for me is the closer. Other than that, it's everything I wanted in a menzingers album.
  25. bmir14

    Regular Supporter

    What um...... what?
    FTank and paperlung like this.