On My Playlist: Top 5 The Menzingers songs

The Menzingers
The Menzingers

One of the best current punk rock bands are The Menzingers. Their blend of creative lyrical content and melodic sound which is simple yet effective is a true treat to hear nowadays. The band to me has a mixture of The Killers, Weezer, Rancid and their own unique style all fused into one. It is something that has to be heard over and over to truly appreciate it for what it is. The band consists of Greg Barnett (vocals, guitar), Tom May (vocals, guitar), Eric Keen (bass) and Joe Godino (drums).
Honourable mentions: “Tellin Lies”, “Transient Love”, “Time Tables”, “Your Wild Years”, “Nice Things”, “In Remission”
5. Nothing Feels Good Anymore
This song showcases the loud/ quiet dynamic that is such a prevalent aspect of The Menzingers sound. This song looks at the desperation of recuperating a broken relationship and this is done perfectly from the start as an acoustic melody and some brilliant song writing that is filled with emotion and lyrical quality: “I am a tiny fly, buzzing around in a field. Somewhere in the overgrowth of your memory. And at night you wander through. As the image of a former you. Searching every nook and every cranny for the form that I’m taking. But “baby, baby I’m right here!”, I try to shout and scream. And say, but my darling you just swat, you just swat me away. And in my greatest desperation, I dig deep into your skin. A little itch to keep the thought of me.”
The brilliance continues when the distorted guitars kick in at the chorus as Barnett sings “Nothing feels good anymore,” complete with a kick-ass grunge guitar riff.

4. Where Your Heartache Exists
One of my favourite tracks from The Menzingers is “Where Your Heartache Exists,” mainly because of the juxtaposed lyrics and steady melody. The instrumentals of this song are also on point with Eric Keen’s simple bass riff adding punch from the start, together with a clean guitar melody from May. Barnett also delivers some of his best vocal work as you can truly sense the emotion in his voice. A fantastic chorus rounds things up. The chorus has a stadium rock feel to it and in a sense this shows a shift in the Menzingers style, as opposed to their underground punk roots.
“I know where your heartache exists. It’s when you are alone and when you’re around me,” to me is a fantastic lyric where he realises that he is caught in a catch 22 relationship.

3. Lookers
“Lookers” take you on a nostalgia trip and how growing up has its own expectations and considerations and people from the past keep being a part of your memories. The track has a pulsating rhythm and a real earnest element to that I quite like. The melodic guitar parts from May works well here and the chorus where the former and Barnett exchange vocal lines is a nice change of pace. The best lyrics are: “I was certain that I’d find her. In the back of the diner. In a cloud full of nicotine. In a teenage memory. That I hold till eternity. Cause the future ain’t coming for it.”

2. I Don’t Want To Be an Asshole Anymore
The Menzingers show their creative and amusing side with this track that focuses on love and the need to change yourself in order to be the best you. The singer here confesses his affection for his lover and admits that he has done wrong, and that he wants to be a better person for the sake of being happy. The chorus is absolutely fantastic and hooks you from the start as Barnett’s raspy and edgy vocals work perfectly to showcase the emotion: “Baby, baby I’ll be good to you. I don’t wanna be an asshole anymore. Baby, baby, I’ll be good to you.” The drum work here from Gosdino also has to commended especially in the verses where he switches between two hi-hat beats to spice things up.
The third verse sums the theme of the song up perfectly: “I won’t lie no more about where I’ve been. And I won’t pry no more over the people that you’re hanging with. You’re the only lover that I ever missed.”

1. After The Party
This song is absolute perfection and showcases why the Menzingers have perfectly visual storytelling in their lyrics. This is a tour de force about falling in love and remembering all the little things that go along with the roller coaster ride filled with euphoria and new experiences. The music fits to the lyrics perfectly with a rhythm section from May and Barnett to open the song. The drumming from Joe Godino keeps the pace in the verses with May singing some brilliant lyrical lines to go with it: “Like getting stoned when we wake up. Coffee grounds and coffee cups. Your silhouette in high top sneakers. And hardcore from laptop speakers. The classics to the more obscure, from Minor Threat to your old roommate’s band.”
The refrain in the bridge where Barnett sings “After the party it’s me and you,” is a perfect way to close off this song and emphasises the close relationship between the lovers.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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