On The Impossible Past
20 February 2012
by Tomas Doyle
The appeal of honest, sweat-drenched punk rock is decades old, but its power never seems to diminish and the reaction it can illicit in your heart and head when done correctly is second to none. With their third full-length, On The Impossible Past, The Mezingers have tapped into this spirit with a display of effortlessly emotive songwriting flecked with nostalgic Americana, all held together with an understated but ever present sense of melody, dynamics and candid self-reflection.
Album opener, ‘Good Things’, kicks things off in superb style with its plaintiff refrain delving into the existential angst that we all feel from time to time – nothing good can last, but that doesn’t stop it hurting and that sentiment flows through every second of these three minutes of punk perfection. From there on the Pennsylvania quartet move through the Brand New-isms of ‘Burn After Writing’, to the OneLineDrawing-esque ‘Obituaries’ with its “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it” refrain which sounds terrible on paper but works so well within the context of an album that cracks it heart open right in front of you that it is hard not to fall in love with.
There are highlights littered throughout this record like confetti, every song offers up something which you sense taps to the core of those who have written it. Tom May and Greg Barnett’s vocals both take lead roles at various points, as well as occasionally blending superbly to add another dimension to proceedings. This is wonderfully autobiographical stuff but never feels too candid – The Menzingers tread the thin line of “over-sharing” with admirable skill but are assisted in this task by their consistent ability to deploy a song writing style that is both developed and sophisticated yet appealingly open.
Listen to ‘Gates’ by The Menzingers:
Whilst fans of buzz saw punk rock might find this a little soft around the edges there is plenty to recommend On The Impossible Past to those who enjoy beautifully conceived songs, well executed and performed in tireless, trendless fashion. Hopefully with the recent backing of Epitaph, The Menzingers will see their stock rise beyond a niche crowd and further into the horizons of the great many fans who will surely enjoy this beautifully-crafted LP.
Sounds Like: Onelinedrawing, Against Me!
Standout Tracks: Good Things, Mexican Guitars, Casey