Tuesday, December 3, 2019
the Menzingers : " Hello Exile"
Taking me back to where punk came from rock , these guys also carry hints of country similar to old Social Distortion. Their just happens to have a better actual singing voice than Mike Ness, there is a s a gritty punk edge to his voice, but it's not the constant whiskey sandpaper of Ness'.They make me feel like this is a punk band that is trying to dress up and cross over into indie rock. This is still way more punk rock that no called pop punk. Lyrically this is almost every bit as punk as Bad Religion... well half the time, when it is not a social commentary then the more Replacements side of what they do tend to be more interpersonal. This is further explored on "High School Friend". There is a real organic warmth to the guitars that have more of a jangle than a chug.
"Last to Know" is slowed down punk. That phrase would make you think this is going to be emo. That is not the case. They pick up the tempo on "Strangers Forever" . It's like Americana punk. The chorus is one of the more aggressive moments thus far. These guys are guy incredible song writers and the attention to detail they pour into this is felt every step of the way. There is a more Ryan Adams like strum to the title track.I am not sure if this is as strong as the previous song, perhaps it needs to grow me. This is more due to hope high the bar is that they raised for themselves. "Portland" is more straight forward and rock n roll in how the strum drives the song.
"Strain Your Memory" is more straight forward it is also had a more punk focus to it. The attitude is not bratty middle finger in air, their take on punk is less of a social construct and has more of a working class feel. "I Can't Stop Drinking" is more of a country like ballad. The come back with even more of a punk edge on " Strawberry Mansion" . "London Drugs" is another more meat and potatoes working class rock song. "Farewell Youth" finds the tremble of his voice maintaining the original sound of the band. I will give this one a 9.5 and see how it grows on me. Not the nastiest punk records in fact it is the most soothing this year.