The Menzingers – ‘After The Party’ [Review]

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When pop-punk bands write songs about getting older, they tend to put a negative spin on their ever-increasing accumulation of time on Earth. The assumption is that aging is a bad thing, that each passing year must bring with it a mandatory reduction in fun, joy, and happiness.

The Menzingers disagree – and After The Party is their on-record counterargument. Yes, the pressure may be on to “grow up” and learn how to adult – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh and keep your spirits up. After The Party is an album designed to be played in barroom jukeboxes, its songs intended to be belted out by rowdy crowds across the world as they party hard, decades be damned.

Given that The Menzingers have already established themselves as pop-punk heavyweights, it’s hardly surprising that After The Party exemplifies mature, carefully crafted pop-punk songwriting. This isn’t a release intended to challenge you sonically – instead, it’s an immediately familiar-sounding set that subtly provokes in terms of standing up to commonly held assumptions about how life “has to be”. After The Party is instantly accessible, catchy, and infectious – which, of course, makes it perfect for a night out with friends, a long-hauling road trip in the springtime, or an intimately sociable house party.

Beyond that, there’s not much more to say – and there really isn’t supposed to be. With After The Party, The Menzingers have made a cool, fun party album that proves beyond doubt that thirty doesn’t have to represent some terrifying event horizon beyond which you must give in to the implacable gravity of Real Life and abandon your hopes and dreams. Like all quality pop-punk albums, it’ll make you want to dance and bounce around and over time, you’ll begin to come around to its deeper meaning and message.

Since that message is one worth spreading, After The Party comes highly recommended.


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Posted on 26 January 2017

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