The Menzingers are classic rock bards with expired Warped Tour laminates, as rooted in Social Distortion and ska as they are Springsteen and Kerouac. This is their thing, and five albums in, they have it so down that it threatens to leave nothing to the imagination. Their fiercely beloved and unabashedly nostalgic dirtbag opus On the Impossible Past challenged Celebration Rock for 2012's most accurately titled album.
At what point does dependability become a setback in a band's career? For a good decade, Scranton, Pennsylvania foursome The Menzingers have been serving as a symbol of sanguine modern pop-punk that transcends any generational ticking clock. Their likable anthems are a winning recipe for longstanding labels like Epitaph, who've continued to champion different variations of the rock persuasion with a clearly defined, not to mention communal, sound. Now, that's not to say that The Menzingers stand at a point in their career where they're too fretful about covering up their receding hairlines.
It's been a damn good ride aging with The Menzingers from my 20's into my 30's. This album, seasoned, weathered and so full of experience, couldn't have come at a better time because it addresses exactly that transition. Over the course of the years, they've gone from the feisty, aggressive days of records like Chamberlain Waits and Hold On Dodge to more tempered, mature and melodic dad-rock/dad-punk because as life wears on you, you need to take it down several notches.
By most measures, 30 years old is still very young.
But it doesn't feel like that, does it? Thirty is a milestone of adulthood that can feel like the end of an era. So, when the Menzingers sing on the first song of their latest record, "What are we gonna do now that our 20s are over?" they're not just asking themselves, but all of us wondering the same. We can't stop ourselves from getting older, so how do we deal with it?
The Menzingers' fifth album rivals, if not surpasses, the nostalgic Americana of their 2012 breakthrough, On ….