Friday, April 16, 2010

review: The Menzingers--Chamberlain Waits

The Menzingers
Chamberlain Waits
Red Scare, 2010

this is a video of an older song...but it's still awesome

Give it up for The Menzingers. Not too many albums that I've been genuinely excited about this year--but this changes all of that. To the untrained ear this is more punk jargon. The Menzingers though hit in all the right places, such as that slight crash right before the chorus in "Tasker-Morris Station." Yes, it may be punk but you still have to use the right tools.

I always like "urgency." I use that word all the time. For the past....shall we say at least 6 years?...punk has lost some of that, once it became a pretty profitable business to be featured on TV shows, be on Guitar Hero and generally come up with the next underground hit. (What...recent Fearless Records releases, what?)

I kind of hope all that stuff comes for The Menzingers, not because I think they're aiming for that--but because they deserve it. The Against Me! inferences on this album are there, but The Menzingers cut that up with some heavier parts while maintaining an accessiblility---contrast "Come Here Often" with "Male Call"

There are some pop songs on here, but maybe the one with the hookiest chorus also has the best lyrics--style and substance don't have to be separate. On "I Was Born," vocalist Greg Barnett sings "I was born but I seem to have forgot it" as the bridge and "Send all my thoughts to the firing squad" is another line. That's good writing, because I have never thought of those words in that order myself.
Depth in the lyrics, a contrast of styles while maintaining the punk rock edge----sounds like punk rock I want to listen to.

I didn't even mention "So It Goes" or "No We Didn't"--love those songs.

Let's give a moment here to give out some props to Philly punk rock right now. Actually I was just going to mention Title Fight too, but I guess they're not in Philly but somewhere else in PA. Well, here's to PA punk...I know there are tons more bands around there, though I just can't think of them right now.

This is my first experience with The Menzingers and I'm a fool for that. I walked out early on one of their shows, because I was too tired. But I'm not going to tire of this anytime soon.

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