by Adrienne Fisher, edited by Erik van Rheenen
There’s a lot to explore on this new Menzingers record. Hell, there’s a lot to explore on every Menzingers record – ever since the release of their debut full length all the way back in 2007, the guys have written literary references, symbolism, imagery, and good old fashioned heart & soul like breadcrumbs into their songs with airtight proficiency. Anyone into contemporary quote-unquote punk in 2014 wouldn’t dare deny the songwriting chops that the PA quartet have driven home over and over again, especially with 2012’s instaclassic On the Impossible Past that brought all kinds of new meaning to how kids felt about diner waitresses and the dead-ends inherent in the things we deem Good or Nice. But the unfortunate thing about developing the attachments that we do to particular bands and records is that we do it in a very specific manner that’s nearly never reproducible – and with reasons unbound from rationality, we construe this lack of reproducibility into feeling let down by our band if they don’t deliver exactly what we think we should expect from them.
Rented World is not another On the Impossible Past, but there’s absolutely no reason why it should be. For that reason, I cannot stress enough that unpacking this record on its own accord instead of stacking it up against your personal anticipations will beget the best and most surprising connections - instead of telling you the dismal stories about the muscle cars and the bottoms of bottles, the Menzingers have created a record that requires your active involvement. It’s calling to be explored, to be listened to thoughtfully, and to be granted merit based on what it is, rather than what it’s up against. The shift in approach bears a little resemblance to how Saves the Day turned on a dime with In Reverie; they’re still stoking the influential fires of discontent, but it addresses the pains and strains of burgeoning real-life in a more universal way, rather than a focused mission statement through more “literary” means.
Even though I’ve already suggested that this record isn’t necessarily as immediate as I now perceive OTIP to be, you can see plenty of the cards that the Menzingers are holding off the bat. Some of those cards are facing upward and say straightforward, bleakly incorruptible things like “I don’t wanna be an asshole anymore” or overtly call back titles of the last record (“Bad Things.”) The keystone lyric from the first-released “In Remission” utters over a bridge “if everyone needs a crutch, then I need a wheelchair,” providing continuity of the self-paralyzing themes for which the Menzingers are heralded; it’ll take no one by surprise when that line is inscribed into punk rock canon a couple of chapters after “I’ve been having a horrible time pulling myself together” first appeared.
The #emorevival is over. American Football have officially reunited for a a few shows this coming fall. It’s not year clear if more will be announced, but check out the dates below and mark your calendars!
American Football Deluxe Reissue Announced
I’m not getting any younger
rarity-is-my-wifu asked: Happy Birthday!!! Don't drink too much and blast a song for me.
Thanks! :3 I don’t plan on drinking (sXe XXX 4 lyfe), but I will gladly blast tons of songs.