The Menzingers are fairly harmless and nondescript. Harsh? Maybe, but that’s how I would describe them.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but punk bands are meant to have at least an air of danger about them.
Modern punk is not the same as the old school variety though and The Menzingers stand alongside other bands of today, brimming with melody and (possibly) autotuned harmonies. To paraphrase NOFX: at what point exactly did punk rock become so safe?
There isn’t a great deal of tempo to a lot of the songs either, but there are plenty of woah-oh singalongs for the purists.
Opener Tellin’ Lies doesn’t exactly signal a warning shot. Or maybe it does, in that it’s a slow, more-pop-than-rock song and that is pretty much the tone of this record.
Thick as Thieves is more downtempo and Lookers sounds a bit like they were getting into their stride a bit, but you’ll rarely hear a punk album with such undistorted guitars.
Midwestern States is disappointing and Charlie’s Army promises much, but delivers little.
The album peters out after this and it’s tough listening really. Livin’ Ain’t Easy brings things to a close and it’s a ballad. That’s right, a punk ballad. Never mind livin’, listenin’ ain’t easy. 13 tracks fill three quarters of an hour you’ll never see again.
If you like punk, you probably won’t like this. If you like quite melodic punk that’s not too fast and is full of melody, you probably won’t like this either and should ransack Alkaline Trio‘s back catalogue instead.
After The Party isn’t necessarily a bad album, but it’s a bad punk rock album and it really makes you wonder what kind of party it was in the first place.
Reader album rating:
AFTER THE PARTY ALBUM INFO
- Tellin’ Lies
- Thick as Thieves
- Midwestern States
- Charlie’s Army
- House on Fire
- Black Mass
- Boy Blue
- Bad Catholics
- Your Wild Years
- The Bars
- After the Party
- Livin’ Ain’t Easy
3rd February 2017