Artist: The Menzingers
Album: On the Impossible Past
I’m from Pennsylvania, so I obviously have a soft spot for bands that come out of the Keystone State. There’s something about Pennsylvania’s music scene there where every single band, no matter what they sound like, sounds a little bit like Pennsylvania. Koji sounds like the mountains, The Wonder Years like the city, Dead End Path like the woods; the music reflects the state. I’m sure this is the case with a lot of music scenes, but I haven’t honestly seen it like I have in Pennsylvania. The Menzingers new album, On the Impossible Past, is the sound of driving down the PA turnpike or I-95 with your best friend with all your windows down on the way to your local or Wawa or the ever-inferior Sheetz. The Menzingers third release comes out very strong, and is what some are considering a contender for Album of the Year, which I can totally understand.
On the Impossible Past is most certainly a punk album, but it is very apparent after the first song this album is not going to be your everyday punk release. The album kicks off with the instantly memorable “Good Things,” which sets the tone for the entirety of the rest of the record. “I’ve been having a horrible time, pulling myself together,” is something that permeates throughout the entirety of the record. The album acts as a living breathing catharsis through the stories that are told, and the ideas that are presented with the upmost honesty. The album starts off strong and I really find myself listening to the opening four tracks over and over again. “The Obituaries” is an instant classic that will most certainly be a solid choice for one of the best punk-rock songs of the year. “Sun Hotel” is a fantastic rock song that I’ve come to appreciate more and more with each listen, and I’m sure that trend will continue to follow. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of “Ava House,” but honestly that’s just me being nitpicky. There are so many good songs on this record, that me listening which ones I like the best is kind of pointless, cause they all are fantastic in their own way.
The thing that I really love about On the Impossible Past is the fact that it has a really great flow to it. It’s the kind of record you can throw on and just think about things to, and nothing ever really interrupts your train of thought. The album is very self-inflective, and it draws on past experiences to push a message about how to deal with the problems of the past, but also how to deal with the inevitable hardships of the future. The drum work on it is pretty standard, but I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. The album has a very old school feel to it, so by having anything too crazy would almost be distracting. The thing I really think needs to be mentioned though is the guitar work. The Menzingers did a really great job of keeping a variety and making sure that when things are loud, they are really loud, but also when they are soft it’s very soft. The diversity of this record is what makes it shine; there’s really something for everybody on it.
It was so much easier, than dealing with everything,” are the final words you hear on the song “Casey,” and I think that is a great way to also think about On the Impossible Past. This is the kind of album that goes perfectly for the 20-something punk kid who’s finally getting thrown into real life situation. I’m not saying that teenagers and the like can’t relate to this album at all, cause that’s simply not true. This new output by The Menzingers is a seasoned record that will make even the most jaded listener excited about music again, while also giving up and coming listeners a different sound that acts as a history lesson on what it means to be in a punk band. Pick this new record up on Epitaph Records!
This is the kind of record that will continue to grow on me, but as of the moment of writing On the Impossible Past gets a: