After the Party is the new album from Scranton’s own The Menzingers. An album decorated with songs reflecting upon their youth whilst keeping an eye on the future, The Menzingers are a band that tend to go under the radar, though with this new effort that should be rectified.
Similar to Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem and Alkaline Trio, The Menzingers have a punk, Americana vibe to their output and it works. The track ‘Your Wild Years’ is the perfect example of this. The riffs are uplifting, the lyrics tell a story. “Feet on the dash through the steady rain/I drove you home while you slept in the front seat/After a show at the stone pony.” The Pony is an iconic music venue in New Jersey, the lyrics that reference traveling and looking back on past memories means that this song is a quintessential Jersey rock song which is synonymous with the Americana milieu.
‘Lookers’ is a song that evokes memories. It’s a poignant piece due to the reflective nature of the lyrics and the realisation that it’s time to move on. “I was such a looker in the older days/you little Kerouac.” With its slow intro and tempo changes the song itself is a journey. It doesn’t plod along, it moves effortlessly, thus making it the standout moment on the LP and proving how the Menzingers have matured as a band.
The Americana vibe to this album is strong. Within ‘Midwestern States’, the lyrics are framed around the reality of being down on your luck, resonating with the themes portrayed in the classic Springsteen cover ‘Atlantic City.’ The Menzingers aren’t copying Springsteen or The Gaslight Anthem here though, they’re putting their own spin on this genre, and they do it well.
After the Party is a great addition to the Americana scene and is an album worth listening to. It will grow on you.