Every band has that album where they switch it up, try a few new things, add some more production values, and maybe bust out some big, dumb riffs. Well, not all bands do that, but Scranton, PA foursome the Menzingers do on their fourth album, Rented World, and while the response has been mixed, there's no denying the album is catchy.
Catchy is one thing, but it was the heart-on-sleeve emotions of their previous album, 2012's On the Impossible Past, that put these guys into the pantheon of pop punk, and an argument has been made that Rented World will never top the play-repeat-play-repeat infectiousness of that third album, on which everything that made the Menzingers so special seemed to align perfectly.
Wrong. Listen to "In Remission," perhaps the most complete song the band has ever written, and it's clearly defined that this is the same the Menzingers, just with two more years of experience, as well as the secure knowledge that they can connect with us on a deeper level as we share in their heartache, insecurity, self-questioning and, eventually, their triumph. And those big, dumb, ass-kicking Weezer/Smashing Pumpkins/Green Day riffs that keep creeping into pretty much every damn song? Keep 'em coming.
Read an interview with the Menzingers' Greg Barnett here. (Epitaph)