ALBUM REVIEW: The Menzingers - After The Party

The Menzingers - After The Party.
The Menzingers - After The Party.

We might be just a few weeks into 2017, but Philadelphia-based punks The Menzingers might have just released my favourite album of the year.

This is their fifth full-length offering, and it's the sound of a band at the top of their game.

Tom May and fellow singer/guitarist Greg Barnett formed The Menzingers in Pennsylvania in their teens with bassist Eric Keen and drummer Joe Godino.

After building a good underground reputation with their first two albums, they began to pick up more widespread acclaim with their third long-player, 2012's On The Impossible Past.

Their last record, 2014's Rented World, was another slice of top-notch passion-filled music which saw their star rise even higher.

Now we reach album number five, and I was delighted to find that even though the members are now moving into their 30s, their fire hasn't gone out.

After The Party is full of their trademark power chords, anthemic harmonies and contemplative lyrics.

Opener 20s (Tellin' Lies) sets the pace nicely, full of punchy guitars and heartfelt lyrics on the woes of getting old.

Thick As Thieves, Midwestern States, Your Wild Years and Charlie's Army are all excellent additions to their arsenal, full of vim and vigour.

But perhaps the standout song here is Bad Catholics, which is right up there with their best material.

If you liked Blink-182 when they were at their peak you'll find echoes of their sound in The Menzingers - but for me the 'Zingers are a much better band. 9/10

* The Menzingers tour the UK in April, but you'll have to make an effort to see them, as sadly they're not coming anywhere near the North East.