Review Summary: Music 101: "How to have fun while listening to music," taught by Dr. Chamberlain Waits.
Sometimes when introducing an album I have strong feelings about, it’s best to provide a little cushion. This is often achieved best by labeling said album as “a grower,” or claiming it “takes a few listens to sink in.” On the other hand, there’s albums like The Menzingers’ Chamberlain Waits
, fully-developed and well-articulated. Sit back, relax, because Chamberlain Waits
is music for the lazy, so accessible and catchy that it requires little to no effort. The sound, reminiscent of the catchy melodies perfected by the likes of The Gaslight Anthem and The Lawrence Arms, feels more like visiting old high school friends than it does a new piece of music. Like riding a bike downhill, you can just sit back and enjoy the melodies, the passionate vocals and stories, as Chamberlain Waits
proves itself to be a surprisingly complete, enjoyable experience throughout. Say goodbye to the complexities of life, the wearisome doldrums, and say hello to the exciting yet simple sincerity of The Menzingers.
Despite similarities to uptempo contemporaries, The Menzingers are perfectly capable of solidifying their own little niche in the neighborhood. With one of the most instantly-gratifying albums in memory, The Menzingers race through Chamberlain Waits
like a drag race- fast enough to win, but never forgetting to win, more importantly, with style and flair. “Who’s Your Partner” is the first indicator of the glorious endeavors to follow. With rash, careless vocals, anthemic gang shouting, and a catchy melody to die for, it’s difficult to believe that the following eleven songs are able to hold a candle to the stupendous first. The chorus rages away, “So let those simple songs get caught in our heads,” and you’re reminded again of the honesty and candidness that can engender such passionate music. Simplicity in music can get a bad rap, but The Menzingers prove that catchiness is alive and kickin’. Alas, it’s all that and more.
Energy-wise, The Menzingers display a keen sense of wherewithal, especially with their ability to remain absolutely upbeat throughout without once sounding monotonous or boring. Rather, Chamberlain Waits
shows The Menzingers wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Inhibitions have been discarded in favor of a rash, carefree approach that becomes absolutely infectious, without one song serving as an exception. The simplicity serves to push the band forward, rather than limit them. By adhering to a rather strict set of music, instrumentally, the band brandishes a flow that would’ve been unachievable otherwise. From the happy-go-lucky atmosphere of “Time Tables,” to the more nostalgic feel of “Rivalries,” to the grandness of the closing title track, The Menzingers remain true to the catchy, raucous, and most importantly, fun
, style of pop-punk (a little heavier on the “punk”) throughout.
the type of album that good memories are created around. Never stopping for respite, always displaying an endearing level of sincerity and personal, lovable songwriting to match, The Menzingers teach you how to have fun while listening to music again. Alongside peers like The Gaslight Anthem, Chamberlain Waits
is an album that serves to show off all the grandiosity, the enjoyment and careless of music that refuses to make concessions or cut corners. An incredibly consistent reminder of the power of simplicity and catchiness, The Menzingers are a band to be noticed. Open your ears to Chamberlain Waits
, and you’ll find that The Menzingers flow in naturally and enjoyably without any difficulty. Without an ounce of pretension, the band achieves something becoming more and more uncommon- cutting out the difficulty of art without sacrificing quality.