Review: The Menzingers’ Rented World

menzingersRented World, the fourth full-length album from The Menzingers, is, for lack of a better word, big. That word can be construed in a few different ways. Yes, the track lengths themselves average in at a little bit longer (one song breaks the five-minute mark, a first for the Philly-by-way-of-Scranton punks) and they enlisted the audio muscle of producer Jon Low for this one, but there’s more to it than that. After three records, including 2012’s breakthrough On the Impossible Past, there’s a weight of confidence and precision laced throughout Rented World. And confidence allows songwriters to try some new things.

That idea presents itself pretty immediately on Rented World, especially when contrasted against On the Impossible Past’s Americana-leaning loose narrative of lyrical and melodic themes: Good things, nice things, American muscle cars, kids getting high, etc. Singer/guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May keep the songs on Rented World decidedly contained. Barnett has mentioned in interviews recently that this was the first Menzingers album to not be solely written on an acoustic guitar; rather, songs were pieced and structured carefully instead of over a couple of chords. As a result, many tracks, with their riff-specific construction, feel like nods to ‘90s alt-rock – a fun direction to see The Menzingers explore.

But as with each Menzingers record, May and Barnett split songwriting duties nearly 50/50, and on Rented World, they continue to characterize their own differing methods. Continue reading →


Stream The Menzingers forthcoming album Rented World in its entirety at SPIN

The Menzingers | Photo The Menzingers | Photo via
The Menzingers | Photo The Menzingers | Photo via

Philly based punk band The Menzingers have a new album, Rented World, due out April 22 via Epitaph records, and as of today you can stream the album in its entirety over at For the new record, the band worked at Miner Street studios in Fishtown with the help of engineer Jonathan Low, who has worked with countless Philly luminaries from Restorations to Kurt Vile.

You can pre-order the album Rented World before its April 22 release here. Catch the Menzingers live when they return to Philly May 31 at Union Transfer. Find tickets for that show here. Stream opening track “I Don’t Want to Be An Asshole Anymore” below, and listen to Rented World in its entirety here.


Listen to a new song by The Menzingers, “In Remission” from their forthcoming album, Rented World

menzingers Scranton local punk rockers The Menzingers took to their tumblr today to announce the release of their forthcoming album, Rented World on April 22nd on Epitaph Records. Listen to the first song from the record, “In Remission” below. Rented World comes two years after the release of their excellent On The Impossible Past, an album that got the band much deserved acclaim for their brand of punk-pop songwriting.

Via Noisey.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes a Tribute to The Last Waltz at The Trocadero, The Menzingers at The Note, Purling Hiss at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Garth Hudson
Garth Hudson

Philly musicians from Andrew Lipke to Kevin Hanson and Wesley Stace will honor and recreate The Band’s 1976 farewell show, The Last Waltz, tonight at the Trocadero. The set will include a full performance of the seminal live album (and concert film), uniting old and new fans of the legendary roots rock band and featuring a guest appearance by original keyboardist for The Band, Garth Hudson. The show will also benefit Philadelphia public schools. Get tickets and information here. Watch a performance of “Up On Cripple Creek” from The Last Waltz below.

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The Menzingers and Tigers Jaw headlining hometown holiday show in Scranton on 12/21

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |

The Menzingers and Tigers Jaw recently announced that they will headline a holiday show in their hometown of Scranton on December 21st. Playing at the St Stanislaus Youth Center alongside other local acts like Captain We’re Sinking, Three Man Cannon, Halfling, and more, this is as much a holiday celebration as it is a celebration of how much good music has come out of the Philly burbs and eastern Pennsylvania in the past few years. Especially in the way of emo and indie punk, The Menzingers and Tigers Jaw are often cited as artists that are “bringing emo back.” Not that it ever really went away, but it is good to see these bands getting recognition and holding gatherings of this sort. There will be a total of nine bands playing on the lineup, and it is a mere $15, so it is sure to sell out by the day of the show. Plan ahead and get your tickets here.

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Cassavetes release “Tie Down,” giving a glimpse into their forthcoming album

Cassavetes | via Facebook

Cassavetes, a heavy indie/punk rock band from Philadelphia, have been hard at work recording a full length album with Uniform Recording‘s Jeff Zeigler. They just debuted the first raw single off that forthcoming release, entitled “Tie Down.” Starting off with an entrancing guitar line, the drums kick in a cymbals crash and the snare drum is pummeled, ushering in an epic full band sound.

Josh Agran’s gritty shouting leads us through the drum fills and punchy bass until the song softens for a bit. During this time, we hear that Agran can sing on the lighter moments just as well as he can yell at the heavy ones. The track continues back into the explosive hook that leads to shrieking guitar and trudging rhythm, ending with all the instruments rolling together into one big awesome ball of noise.

Cassavetes will be part of a stacked lineup at The Note on November 30th, playing alongside The Menzingers, Modern Baseball, and Cayetana. Find tickets here.


Why Fest? A Philly perspective on Gainesville’s main music attraction, and photos of locals who made the trek

Hop Along | photo by Allison Newbold |
Hop Along | photos by Allison Newbold |

Going twelve years strong, The Fest is an annual gathering in Gainesville, Florida, that brings together a cross-section of players in the national DIY scene for four days of action. Though it began firmly rooted in punk and hardcore, it’s expanded over time to include a broader range of sounds and styles, from singer-songwriter (Tim Kasher) to metal (Torche) and indie pop (Slingshot Dakota). Think of it as an anti-corporate response to the music festival circuit.

Every year, an impressive swatch of Philly bands make the trek down to Gainesville for the festival, whether as a tour stop or as a single destination. Photographer Allison Newbold made the trip this year, and caught up with several of them: below, check out images of Daylight, The Menzingers, Slingshot Dakota and more. She also collected thoughts from some of the artists on how Fest 12 was treating them and why they Fest in general. Check them out below.

Mark Quinlan from Hop Along
“Fest always treats me in a way that’s far better than I deserve. There are friends on every corner. Once a year, Gainesville is my punk rock home away from home”

Jacob Ewald from Modern Baseball
“My first Fest was perfect. I got to hang out with all the friends we made across the country this summer and I got to see all my favorite rock and roll bands. Woo!”

Ben Pierce from Restorations
“Of the multiple fests I’ve been to, this one was the most relaxing. I saw about 4 bands out of 400 which is fine because I was about to see about 400 friends. Nice weather, nice beverages and great conversations with friends. Fest.”


Guest VJ Nick Fanelli previews Guild Shows’ Tuesday Tune-Out (kicks off tonight at PhilaMOCA)

AVA House, immortalized in a Menzingers song
AVA House, immortalized in a Menzingers song, and stomping grounds for the Guild Shows crew

This month marks the one-year anniversary of PhilaMOCA‘s Tuesday Tune-Out film-and-music showcase, and taking the curator’s reins are current heavy hitters in Philly’s DIY promotions scene. Guild Shows have developed quite the roster of ass-kicking concerts in spaces as far-flung as West Philly’s Golden Tea House (site of March’s Waxahatchee album release party), The Barbary (the Frankford Avenue punk refuge) and The Fire (when they host all-ages shows). Their musical tastes are as broad as their locations, though definitely rooted to some degree in in DIY punk rock. We asked Guild’s Nick Vanelli to weigh in on this month’s Tune-Out via our regular Guest VJ spotlight. All shows happen at 8 p.m., are $5 at the door and are all ages.

From Nick:
We strived to create a series that was full of unique shows- bands or concepts you’ll rarely see- that also provided a true taste of what The Guild does. All four shows feature musicians who regularly play on our shows performing in non-traditional formats, and we are really excited for all of our super talented friends to shine in new ways. Continue reading →


Review: The Menzingers kick off tour with sold out show at The Church

Philadelphia by-way-of Scranton punk four-piece The Menzingers started off their east cost summer tour the best way possible; with a sold out show at the First Unitarian Church. The show proved this tour is not one to miss – The Menzingers commanded crowd, getting everyone in the packed audience singing along.

The band was accompanied by four other bands. The first to hit the stage was Scranton’s Captain, We’re Sinking. Their catchy brand of punk music was a great way to start the show. Next up was Philadelphia favorites Restorations who had a few tricks in store for the show: they brought on a second drummer to preform with them. Their performance was definitely something to be seen. Fake Problems, the only non Pennsylvania natives on the tour, were the last to hit the stage before The Menzingers, who put on an excellent set (and even opened up the first mosh pit of the evening).

The Menzingers east coast tour will continue till June 12 and shortly after that they will embark on a European headlining tour for the remainder of the summer. Below, watch some videos of the show.

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The Menzingers go Daytrotter

The Menzingers – the Scranton-bred, Philly-based punk band with heavy acclaim – joined the roster of awesome musicians who have recorded with Daytrotter yesterday.

Having acquired a huge fan base, it is no surprise to see The Menzingers record at the storied Rock Island, Ill studio. You can hear their energy and talent in the four songs they recorded for the session (“Sculptors and Vandals”, “Good Things”, “Gates”, and “Sun Hotel Pt. 2″, all of which are off of their most recent album On the Impossible Pastl). They convey their raw, unyielding prowess, and the lo-fi quality of the recordings makes the songs even more powerful.

The level of emotionality is staggering – in “Sun Hotel Pt. 2,” it’s damn near cry worthy. The kind of crying where you don’t know why you’re crying, you just let it all out and have a great time doing it. That’s not necessarily guidelines to follow when listening to the songs, nor will it absolutely happen, but if they don’t evoke some amount of emotional reaction, or at the very least compel a little head-banging, maybe you clicked on the wrong link.

The Menzingers Daytrotter session can be found here. Check it out if you’re looking for a good time, or if you want to break up your day and sit back and enjoy something wonderful.