Written by T.Paine
Blame it on punknews, blame it on the Gaslight Anthem, blame it on the leaked Against Me! record or any Hold Steady record. The Menzingers are a great punk band, and “Chamberlain Waits” is filled with good songs. Yet I cant get over the feeling that this “new wave” (pun totally intended) of Bruce Springsteen-influenced punk is starting to run its course. I’m already getting kind of sick of it, which is both a good thing and a bad thing for the Menzingers, at least for the sake of this review. If these guys weren’t so damn good at writing catchy punk tunes, this record would be a flop, as personally I feel like they are better suited to writing more straightforward type punk songs for guys in flannel to drink PBR and stroke their beards to.
This doesn’t mean this is a bad record, far from it in fact. “Deep Sleep” is the kind of song that gives you goosebumps. The songs are incredibly tight, and its obvious that everyone in the band has serious chops. In fact, listening to this record didn’t make me long for their back catalog like is so often the case when a punk band “changes”. In fact, this new sound for the Menzingers works especially well when they get more aggressive, especially in the middle of the record, with the aforementioned “Deep Sleep” and “Time Tables”, which evoke screams so real you can almost smell the whiskey on their breath. Sure, there are some songs that range somewhere between bearable and decent, but all in all this is a fun record. I will be trying to see these guys live as soon as possible, because these songs lend themselves to the stage.