The Menzingers
On the Impossible Past


3.5
great

Review

by Bryan Edwin USER (7 Reviews)
February 16th, 2012 | 12 replies | 2,516 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not Chamberlain Waits Vol.2., but all the better for it.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

If you don't know who The Menzingers are by now, you should. After releasing Chamberlain Waits in 2010 to critical acclaim, the Scranton, PA punk quartet toured internationally with The Gaslight Anthem and Against Me!. They captivated listeners with gigantic choruses, melodic gang vocals, and songs catchier than half of The Lawrence Arms' catalogue. Nonetheless, The Menzingers have proven that they are not afraid to move forward – and on On the Impossible Past, they have certainly taken a very large step in the right direction.

The most important thing to keep in mind when listening to On the Impossible Past – and this will be evident after only a few minutes – is that the album is NOT Chamberlain Waits Vol. 2. Much in the fashion that The Gaslight Anthem took on 2010's American Slang, the band has chosen to move away from the sound that created something huge (TGA'S The '59 Sound was regarded as one of the finest punk albums of 2008). The Menzingers have created a completely new record that borrows enough of the right elements from Chamberlain to stay relevant, while pushing far enough into melodic territory to shed any shred of doubt left from their mediocre debut release, A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology.

Right off the bat, “Good Things” sets the tone of the album. It is clear that the band is moving into a much more melodic direction, and the ensuing tracks are testaments to that. Lead single “Gates” is one of the more heartfelt pieces on the record, borrowing from the sonic nostalgia that they nailed on Chamberlain's “Rivalries”. Vocalist Tom May says of the song: "I hope it surprises people because it's not a straight-forward punk song with gang vocals or anything like that but it still definitely sounds like us." The song is undeniably Menzingers, but it is the stripped-down approach to the music that really defines what On the Impossible Past is all about.

Longtime fans might feel that the band has “cut the balls off”, so to speak – especially when considering how far they've coming since A Lesson. However, On the Impossible Past is not a record about partying, moshing, or drinking livers dry – not unlike contemporaries The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers have made the record they needed to in order to mature as musicians and as artists. Nonetheless, On the Impossible Past is undeniably enjoyable – there are moments on this record to make anyone smile. It may not be the best album you hear this year, The Menzingers have taken a step in the right direction and, if they keep it up, are well on their way to cementing their name among the punk greats.



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user ratings (404)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Josh Fountain CONTRIBUTOR (5)
"when you get old enough to know that happiness is just a moment"...

Understanding In a Crash (4)
Why all good things should('nt) fall apart......

Davey Boy STAFF (3.5)
"Coz I cursed my lonely memory with picture-perfect imagery"....

Mary Paultese (4.5)
“I’ve been closing my eyes to find why all good things should fall apart.”...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2012



50056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

pmmets07
February 16th 2012



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whoa is this officially out? i have one written for this.

Satellite
February 16th 2012



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

there's a stream on punknews.org, so review away

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Hep Kat
February 16th 2012



15311 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah this is good. saw these guys at warped (lol) last year. good stuff. good good good

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

sixthgoldenticket
February 16th 2012



1176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review, album is my biggest surprise of the year so far. I might even like it better than chamberlain waits.

pmmets07
February 16th 2012



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very solid review btw

tom79
February 16th 2012



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So good

Digging: Rainer Maria - Look Now Look Again

tuk
February 17th 2012



151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

first four songs flow almost perfectly, then it gets a bit tedious. great record though

essenceoftong
February 17th 2012



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

casey's such a great song

brocoy
February 17th 2012



26 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A lot of beautiful moments on the record, I wish I could talk about all of them without the review getting super convoluted.

But do check it out, it's definitely a grower... and a great one at that. I particularly love Gates, Sculptors and Vandals, and Casey.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2012



6432 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review for a great record. Would like to see them live

Digging: Vessel - Punish, Honey

bach
March 1st 2013



12305 Comments


I will fuck this up
I fucking know it

Digging: Autumn's Grey Solace - Within the Depths of a Darkened Forest



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