Just a few years removed from their sloppier ska punk roots, and the heels of the salivating praise over their first few releases, Scranton, PA's the Menzingers live up to high hopes with their remarkably accomplished sophomore full-length, Chamberlain Waits. From the theoretically more age-appropriate pop punk riffage and nostalgic ruminations of "Home Outgrown" to the band's intrinsic protest song folk angst of stripped-down Billy Bragg moment "Male Call," the Menzingers possess and employ a rare mix of brash youth and grounded maturity, which permeates every track. Most evident and successful are the influence and gratitude paid to the almighty Clash; it's heard most clearly in the Strummer-calibre sneer and insight of "No We Didn't" and "Tasker Morris Station." The latter similar to the Gaslight Anthem or earlier Against Me!, effectively and in a personalized way that can't be called copy-catting, blending timeless influences with modern punk's accessibility. Chamberlain Waits is full of meaningful moments both present and powerful. It already sounds like a classic in its own right and is definitely a watershed for this still-young band.
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