The Menzingers are a punk rock band who have been in the game for a while, and with “After the Party” they take a brief moment to catch their breath and take a look at the past while thinking of the future. Admittedly, I’m not overly familiar with The Menzingers past albums, but from what I can tell on this album they have a very accessible sound. You could definitely put this on during a car ride or get together and nobody would bat an eye. The sound the band has going for them is produced almost too perfectly, it’s not aggressive, and it veers more towards the pop side of punk. The song structures also favor big, anthem style choruses.
On first impression, I thought “After the Party” was a maybe slightly above average pop punk album with a pretty forgettable sound. But, something kept making me hit the replay button. Some of the songs started endearing themselves to me like “Charlie’s Army”, “House on Fire”, and “Your Wild Years”. These songs all have pretty good hooks and melodies. What I consistently dug through the album, though, was the lyricism. I love the painful reality showcased on many of the songs and really “After the Party” is a thematic album. There is this sense of growing up and nostalgia, remembering old friends and a feeling of “What the hell am I going to do now that I’m getting out of my 20s?”. It’s all pretty damn relatable and told in an interesting way.
I’m still not in love with the sound, but the stories on the album have won me over. I do think the vocals are good and have some nice dynamics, and thank god they aren’t clean to the point of being sterile.
Is it my favorite variant of punk music? No. But, I would say this is without a doubt an above average record, and I think a lot of people would enjoy this.