Review: The Menzingers – ‘After The Party’

The Menzingers are coming to terms with the ending of their 20s for all but one member–Greg Barnett is 29–on their new album After The Party. The album kicks off with “Tellin’ Lies,” which explains just that. The opening line is “Oh yeah, oh yeah, everything is terrible,” and it seems a little drastic. However, The Menzingers mean every word they sing. Theoretically the party was when they were in their 20s, and now they’re moving on to what comes after that. There’s a maturity that comes with this album, but it doesn’t take away anything they’ve built up until now.

They haven’t hit the mainstream, but within the punk community, they might as well be stars. I remember when I first saw the band live at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. The place was packed, and it was all for them. They lit the place up and you wouldn’t even know you were in a church basement if it wasn’t in the name. Was that an unconventional place for punk shows? Of course, but it didn’t matter. A little while later I saw them at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA and they brought the same energy to a much bigger show. They’ve come far and still can provide those bangers that they hooked everyone on with previous records like On The Impossible Past and Rented World.

“Lookers” would be that song that got everyone hooked. When it first came out, people played it on repeat and knew that this album would be one to look forward to. By this track the third on the album, the band has already drawn me in and they keep my attention the entirety of the album. I wouldn’t consider this band a punk band in the conventional sense. They don’t have the blaringly loud and fast two minute tracks. They take the time they need on songs to fully flush out an idea. Songs on this record exceed four minutes, but they’re a punk band because of their attitude, not their run time on songs and albums. Besides, 45 minutes of the Menzingers is something everyone should want.

Going through this album track by track would get redundant quickly and to spare you all from that, I’ll just let you know that despite it only being February, this is a must-listen punk album of the year. Hell, it may even end up as one of my favorite albums this year. That’s how good it is. The band allows their music to grow with them and After The Party is the epitome of that. Take the roughly 45 minutes out of your day to give this a listen.

After The Party is out on 2/3 via Epitaph Records. You can pick up a copy here.