As we grow older, so does today’s band, The Menzingers. After making a name for themselves with the Chamberlain Waits album, I know they have a debut album that didn’t leave much of an impression. Their sophomore album, On The Impossible Past, and follow-up After The Party made The Menzingers a household name. Therefore, upon the arrival of Hello Exile, there was uncertainty as to how they would maintain their level of brilliance and unique sound. They experimented with different sounds, and the keyword here is “experimented.” I enjoyed it, though it didn’t quite capture the magic of their previous work. It doesn’t say a lot… But either way, The Menzingers are back with Some Of It Was True.
The Menzingers have always been gifted in the area of blending genres. ‘Ultraviolet’ gives off a country tinge mashed up with some indie-punk riffs, and ‘High Low’ starts with what I truly wish is a banjo and the simple kickdrum, with upbeat chorus parts. On other tracks, like ‘Try,’ we hear a much more indie-punk-infused sound that we would recognize from their earlier material, i.e., Chamberlain Waits. If we look at “Nobody Stays”, the simple acoustic riffs that start the song, we hear the folk elements that cover the music like a nice quilted blanket on a chilly autumn afternoon. The Menzingers don’t fail to deliver some well thought and executed melodies throughout the whole album, but that’s expected.
Lyric-wise, Some Of It Was True continues to bring out the sing-along anthems that The Menzingers are known to do. Some Of It Was True doesn’t fail in delivering what we all reminisce about from time to time: the nostalgia from our past, the innocence of being carefree, “Nostalgia’s never quite as it seems / Rose colored glasses on everything”. The longing for your sweetheart on the song ‘Alone In Dublin’ continues to make my knees weak because “Excuse my jingle-jangle jargon” (yes, that’s a line from the song) is complemented by the heartfelt melodies and to put the cherry on top, a catchy hook. ‘Running In The Roaring Of The Winds’ leaves me hopeful, even if the lyrics and melody can sometimes be melancholy during the song.
The Menzingers have always been good at writing songs that are relevant to where they are in life. Now they are in their mid-thirties, where has life gone? We remember After The Party due to many things: a masterpiece that fits like a glove when their fans (new and old) turn 30, surely “Where are we gonna go when our twenties are over?” But Some Of It Was True hits because most of us are in our mid-thirties, where heartbreak hits harder and you wonder when the pain stops. The nostalgia is much more relevant because where did the time go? I could swear we were all kids just yesterday. And how adulthood can suck.
The Menzingers don’t need to reinvent themselves because they continue to be relatable to the average Joe. Some Of It Was True nearly goes back to the roots, but at the exact time, it is a new era for The Menzingers, and with the bar that they have set so high for their music, this album deserves all of your attention.
Stand out tracks: “Alone In Dublin,” “Try,” “I Didn’t Miss You (Until You Were Gone)”