The Menzingers
On the Impossible Past


4.5
superb

Review

by Mary Paultese USER (35 Reviews)
February 16th, 2012 | 14 replies | 2,606 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “I’ve been closing my eyes to find why all good things should fall apart.”

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Nostalgia is bittersweet; reminiscing over a past memory can simultaneously create warm feelings as well as a void in one’s gut. We will all undoubtedly look back fondly at certain moments of our life, knowing that the expectations they built will never be met – but that’s okay, because we know that one day, we will we looking back at what is now the present in the same manner. The acceptance of this cycle seems to be the overall theme of The Menzingers' latest work, On the Impossible Past, in which front man Tom May takes us on a journey through his past experiences. Whether these instances were inglorious at the time or unforgettable, their absence is what continues to torment May.

Musically, The Menzingers have shown a logical progression in sound with each album release. Their debut LP in 2007, A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology, was a gritty, anthemic punk album, while their 2010 release, Chamberlain Waits showed an emphasis on melody, cleaner vocal sections, as well as slowed tempos. On the Impossible Past continues the trend, and while the band has not completely abandoned their original gruff sound, their edge has certainly been dialed back, making way for a more emotional focus. The first track, Good Things, is a fairly accurate portrayal of the sound of the album as a whole, as it begins with May singing “I’ve been having a horrible time pulling myself together,” over a repeated gainy guitar line, until it eventually bursts into a mid-tempo sing-along demonstrating the rougher nature of the band. That being said, even the album’s most powerful moments do not compare to the band’s earlier releases in terms of grittiness.

Simply put, On the Impossible Past is immediately gripping and accessible; as a listener, it is near impossible to avoid the hooks (see the chorus in Obituaries), melodies, and the ebb and flow of emotion present throughout. Tracks like Gates are acknowledgements of our personal shortcomings, but also reminders for us to stay afloat. The deeply personal lyrics, mentioning “American muscle cars” and “Mexican guitars,” bring specificity to the tracks, and will evoke a heart-in-throat reaction with most listeners.

Clocking in at around 40 minutes as the band’s longest release yet, On the Impossible Past packs in plenty of storytelling and wailing, and while the length itself is not an issue, several parts of the album suffer from banality. Tracks such as Ava House, simply do not have the pick-up or emotion present in others, and disrupt the flow of the otherwise outstanding album. Despite this minor issue, The Menzingers have crafted an excellent and emotional addition to their discography that is similar enough to their former sound to draw in original fans, yet fresh enough to offer variation from their other works.



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user ratings (344)
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"....

Bryan Edwin (3.5)
Not Chamberlain Waits Vol.2., but all the better for it....


Comments:Add a Comment 
pmmets07
February 16th 2012



5781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sort of counter opinion! BAM

Satellite
February 16th 2012



19746 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I WILL FUCK THIS UP

I FUCKING KNOW IT

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

pmmets07
February 16th 2012



5781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

SUCH a good album. listening almost daily

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2012



20194 Comments


I heard this album's really good so ima check it out

Digging: YG - My Krazy Life

sixthgoldenticket
February 17th 2012



1176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this review almost as much as The Menzingers like waitresses and cigarettes.

accompliceofmydeath
February 17th 2012



4083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Convinced me to check it out. Nice review.

Digging: Crowbar - Crowbar

Blackbelt54
February 17th 2012



4266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY so far for me, nice review

pmmets07
February 17th 2012



5781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

word thanks guys. aoty for me so far as well. we'll see if the sidekicks' new album changes that.

brocoy
February 17th 2012



26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review, great album. Although, based on the content in the review, the rating seems a bit high.

sportsboy
February 18th 2012



512 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the first half of this LP is a fucking jam
nice review btw

Digging: Chuck Person - A.D.D. Complete

sixthgoldenticket
February 21st 2012



1176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can't wait to hear most of these songs live.

bach
March 9th 2013



11134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

CASEY
CASEY
CASEY

Digging: Lovesliescrushing - Bloweyelashwish

2453
July 30th 2013



13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, but it's in fact Greg Barnett who's telling most of the stories on this record including Good Things, while Tom takes the lead on rather "banal" ones like Ava House.

Digging: Tua - Stevia

NightProwler
December 8th 2013



6114 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ava House def is the weakest link here. But had it been on any other band's album, you wouldn't notice that. Album is that freaking good

Digging: Norma Jean - Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child



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