Review || The Menzingers - "Hello Exile"

Everyone’s favourite punk rock band, The Menzingers, will release their 6th studio album, "Hello Exile" on Epitaph Records on October 4th of 2019.

I’m not kidding; I can’t name a single one person in my greater musical circle which is somehow associated with punk rock that doesn’t absolutely love The Menzingers. Not only that, but punk rock famous people I never expected would utter the words “I loved the latest Menzingers record” have done so on various occasions, like Russ Rankin from Good Riddance and Milo Aukerman from the grandiose Descendents to name a few. Top that! 

Leaving the famous people comments aside, I am as well no exception. My falling in love with the band was instant in 2009 when the "Hold On Dodge" seven inch fell into my lap. Immediately I could tell I was onto something incredible both musically and lyrically and from then on the way to the top of the punk rock mountain was simply a matter of time for the Menzingers, who I watched closely. The signing to the biggest independent punk label in the world - Epitaph Records - made absolute sense, the selling out of larger auditoriums everywhere, the ever growing general fan base, the production and synthesis of immaculate records all were aspects of a band which seemed to effortlessly conquer the punk rock music scene. 

Every time The Menzingers are about to release a new record I always wonder if topping the last one is possible. Initially I thought "On The Impossible Past" in 2012 would definitely be my favourite of theirs. Then two years later the first singles for "Rented World" dropped and I thought “there’s no way this is gonna be a better record than the previous one”. Sure enough it was, as was the next one in 2017; "After The Party" felt like the band had perfected their craft on every level. To this day I consider that album to hold a special place in my best punk rock records of all time. Another crazy thing about The Menzingers is that they never seem to stop making music. In just two years they’ve managed to craft another record and in the meantime, they’ve released a bunch of amazing songs for various reasons (charity comps etc) which also are excellent and aren’t even featured on the upcoming record Hello Exile. How is this even possible after so much music released? 

At this point I feel like a damn fool for even doubting the band’s ability to keep releasing “record of the year” material. So, here we are with album number six. Is "Hello Exile" in the record-of-the-year category? Of course it is. I couldn’t wait to listen to the LP and now I can’t stop listening to it. You would think the band has tried and mastered everything in the genre, every chord progression sequence, every lyrical theme and every vocal melody pattern but somehow all of the songs on "Hello Exile" flow perfectly and feel completely fresh and memorable. The band again worked with Will Yip and a closer listen distinguishes the differences in production from the previous collaborative body of work, "After The Party"; this new piece is lighter, almost more of a rock record. However, even in its fine details, "Hello Exile" sounds beautifully balanced and a trademark Menzingers record. Greg Barnett handles most of the vocal duties on the new album, there are still a couple of “new” areas of sound the band explores and everything from the lyrics to the artwork of "Hello Exile" is another thought-out process to be impressed by. I love the sarcastic political touch of "America (You’re Freaking Me Out)", the classic Menzingers touch in "Anna", "Strangers Forever", "Portland" and "Strawberry Mansion", the rock and roll vibes on the title track and the sober maturity of "I Can’t Stop Drinking", as well as the uniqueness of "Last To Know" and "London Drugs" (my personal favourites along with the opening track).   

Let’s wrap this up on the high wave we are riding. I admit I’m biased but I’m also expecting so much each time with anticipation and excitement whenever the Menzingers are about to release a new record. Expectations are (again) met all the way, "Hello Exile" is a  f a n t a s t i c  record. 

Share on Google Plus

0 σχόλια :

Post a Comment