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Judy G.

CD of The Week

Week of 10/23/23

    The Menzingers - Some Of It Was True (Epitaph)

    The Menzingers have returned with their seventh studio album, Some Of It Was True, a poignant and well-timed release showcasing the band’s continued maturity not just as musicians, but as people forging their way through life.

    Some Of It Was True is the Philly punks’ first fully new release since 2019’s Hello Exile. During the pandemic, the group again demonstrated their talent by reimagining that album as 2020’s From Exile, rerecording each song as a mostly acoustic departure from the original.

    The Menzingers have an extensive history of finely crafting songs to represent their current place in life. The same aging punks who once asked, “Where we gonna go when our 20s are over?” are now showing where they are in their late 30s: cautiously optimistic when it comes to hope while feeling alienated from your past self.

    Never one to shy away from having his heart on full display on his sleeve, Gregor Barnett’s lyrics continue to show the poetry in both joy and heartache. The album opens with “Hope is a Dangerous Little Thing,” beginning with Barnett’s signature vocals over a simple strumming guitar melody before abruptly being joined by the full band shouting along. Sure to be the anthem and a fun singalong when played live, it reminds us of the dangers of optimism.

    Continuing its strong start, “Hopeā€¦” is followed by “There’s No Place in This World For Me,” which reminds us the grass is always greener on the other side. “When I’m here, I wanna be there. When I’m there, I wanna be anywhere else. What a tragedy, a catastrophe, feeling alone around so many,” it begins, sure to resonate with anyone who has ever felt out of place and dreaming of getting away from it all.

    Not to be outdone by Barnett, co-frontman Tom May shows his lyrical and musical maturity with his contributions. First is “Nobody Stays,” a catchy melody with a killer hook and call-and-response vocals at parts of the chorus, culminating in, “Nobody stays, no feeling is final.” “High Low” is a standout track on the album, in which May reminisces of “echoes from home” while treating us to a lighter and more melodic side of the group’s catalog.

    Perhaps the most unique offering on the record is “Take It to Heart,” a fun track showing what The Menzingers are really capable of - a crunchy, fuzzy song with deep layers between the verse and chorus. “Some days, spiral in the worst ways,” it begins, and continues on as Barnett pleads with himself to not take things to heart in the never-ending quest to just feel okay.

    The Menzingers have seen themselves go through several phases in their journey - punks with something to say, exploring what it means to exist and battle existential crises, to pop-punkers who are unsure of what it means to simply be. Some Of It Was True sees them in a new light as they try not to dwell on the past while carving out their own path into more thoughtful heartland rockers. See The Menzingers for yourself at Franklin Music Hall on November 12th.
    Review by Dan Baker

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