“New Jersey emo, they don’t sound like Bruce Springsteen, a solid album”
Look what has come around again:
The Menzingers just released a new album and it will probably sound somewhat familiar to you, not that there is anything wrong with that. The Menzingers give me an aural-recall to early-Aughts emo bands like Further Seems Forever (with the original line-up) and countless others from the late 90’s through 2000-something.
Personally, in the choruses especially, I also hear some early Jimmy Eat World. I don’t get the Bruce Springsteen comps that I have seen thrown around, but I imagine that comp is pushed on every band from New Jersey at least once.ersonally, in the choruses especially, I also hear some early Jimmy Eat World. I don’t get the Bruce Springsteen comps that I have seen thrown around, but I imagine that comp is pushed on every band from New Jersey at least once.
While the Menzingers don’t do anything to change your life, most bands don’t either, so don’t be such a music-snob for once, Straw Man. The songs on this album are upbeat (at least musically), well produced, and catchy. I dare you not to like these songs almost immediately. It’s a well put together album and I can see why this band is getting some recent buzz with this release. I’ll be interested to see what kind of staying power they have in my personal rotation after several listens.
For $8 for a digital copy of “After the Party” on Bandcamp:https://themenzingers.bandcamp.com/album/after-the-party, I’d say do it.
https://themenzingers.bandcamp.com/album/after-the-party, I’d say do it.
TL;DR Summary Haiku:
“AFI album, it’s boring and uninspired, I would not buy it”
The first review up is AFI’s “Blood Album” which is great because I am nothing if not an AFI apologist. And let me say, they have made it almost impossible to defend this album with my usual: “it’s just different” refrain. I don’t like to be negative and I would rather be constructive…but, it is really hard with this album. I don’t expect bands to stay the same forever and I don’t mind when they change their sound. This is different.
This album feels like AFI’s record label put a cross-section of their fans in a room with a one-way mirror and asked them to describe what they would want in a new AFI album. This album sounds like a band that is trying to check off every box to please the different “generations” of fans but accomplishes nothing because they put every piece of fruit they have into the blender and produced a tasteless mess.
You hear classic AFI in some tracks with the chanting, the choruses, and the background vocals. The difference here is that it sounds like a cover band without the intensity, without the fire inside (see what I did there?). You also hear some pop, synth-pop, pop-punk and, whatever other genres you can throw at me. And, whatever, I’m fine with that in theory. They don’t have to remake Black Sails just to be great again.
Honestly, there is probably a good EP in here somewhere because the music is not as bad as the execution. The problem for me is, the tracks aren’t universally bad, they are just boring. Oh, and it is time to talk about the Davey Havok in the room.
It’s not the music, it’s the songs. I don’t usually get caught up in what the lyrics mean but it is another thing to be constantly distracted by bad poetry. How many times can you repeat “strange” or “stranger” in a song without annoying the listener? How many times can you sing “white offerings” before it gets old? How can a band mature in reverse with the content? Davey annoys with aplomb on this album, and this is coming from an avid AFI fan. (I still have my limited edition turn of the century AFI vans).
So would I buy this album? Stream it? Avoid it at all costs? Check them out on tour first?
I would stream it a few times more. Maybe it will grow on me (says the apologist).