The Menzingers – Hello Exile
We still write album reviews? You’re damn right we do! Though it’s been a bit of time (okay maybe a lot of time), we do still like to talk about music and the full album experience. We currently live in a very “right now” society where things need to deliver fast and immediately, but the ATH team still loves a great record. This review of a great record features Scranton, PA based The Menzingers and their new album Hello Exile. Hit the jump for some words and thoughts.
So Scranton, PA band The Menzingers have been together since 2006, and I’ve honestly never spent too much time with their music for whatever reason. Now on their 6th full length, Hello Exile has been my first major foray into the band. I found myself surprised at how much I enjoyed the listening experience, and also shocked at how I’d been missing out on this band for years. These guys pump out an album every few years and are constantly touring the country with, what I’m told, are raucous live shows.
- Kicking off an album with a song like “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” totally sets the tone for the entire album. It’s like an announcing, “hey this might be a kick in the nuts so be ready”.
- “Strangers Forever” is one of the most expertly crafted tunes I’ve heard in this genre in a long time. Damn near perfect.
- Title track “Hello Exile” is a nicely crafted ballad which is a fantastic way to bring things back down a bit and close out Side A.
- My only miss for me on this album, and the only reason I wouldn’t rate it higher, is “I Can’t Stop Drinking”. The song just seems a little forced to me and the lyrics kind of amateur and obvious.
- Clearly this record is dealing with the heavy issues one faces as they grow into their 30s and begin questioning the carefree, and maybe hard living, ways of their 20s. Most of us can probably relate.
Who is This For?
For fans of poppier punk music with a more intimate and heartfelt approach to the lyrics.
- “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” – Obviously this is an incredibly strong opener and one of the best songs on the entire album.
- “Ana” – Probably the weakest of the three singles. An attempt at a more sentimental tune which is okay, not great.
- “Strangers Forever” – The band used this as their last single from the record as they should have. It’s likely the best track on the album and will be a banger live.
Clearly an album meant to look inwards as the band members move from their 20s into the 30 years, this record clearly focuses a great deal on growing up. Many mentions are made of prior relationships, drinking too much, and leaving the days of youth behind. For me, it’s pretty relatable, and shows a more mature band with intimate lyrics and a polished sound. In what seems to be an ever growing void in rock n roll, it’s incredibly satisfying to have a band like Menzingers who will carry the torch in the genre.
Hello Exile is on sale right now from the mighty Epitaph label.
Lucky for you and me The Menzingers will be stopping through town on Sunday, November 17th at Mohawk. Tickets are still on sale and pretty cheap for that show. See you there?