Thursday, April 24, 2014

Album Review: The Menzingers - Rented World

Album Rating: A-
The Menzingers are a band that has paid their dues. The Scranton, PA natives have been playing music for almost a decade, and have built themselves up from playing YMCA's in suburban Pennsylvania to full-fledged world-wide tours. It comes as no surprise then that their fourth full-length album, Rented World, is as mature and focused as they are. Following up 2012's highly acclaimed On The Impossible Past, must have been a heavy weight to bare, but The Menzingers have succeeded in creating an album that transitions easily from their past work, while also injecting a different tone and style.

Rented World can be said to be the best Weezer album since Pinkerton. From the basic artwork featuring only the title and the band members, to the actual music itself, Rented World has a distinct early Weezer vibe. Guitars are distorted heavily enough, but never too much, and melodies are catchy. The distinct "sing-a-long" mentality is present from the opening track, and single, "I Don't Want To Be An Asshole Anymore." It has a powerful chorus that's backed up by gang-vocal "whoas." The song kicks the album with a burst of energy and leads it forward through 12 tracks ranging from early 90's poppy punk ("The Talk") to the Bob Dylan-esque closer "When You Died."

The band equals out each fast, more punk sounding track with a slower more melodic one. Tracks like "Transient Love" and "Where Your Heartache Exists" bring the tempos down slightly and give room to breathe for both the listener and the band. These slower moments only help accentuate the louder more powerful moments such as the opening riff to "In Remission" or the pre-verse section of "Sentimental Physics." Both tracks showcase heavy power-chord riffs that are infused with copious amounts of distortion.

Where The Menzingers are really finding their sound is in their choruses, with each song have memorable hooks and catchy lyrics. Quickly scanning over the track list, you are able to recall each and every song's chorus with ease, and it only makes you want to listen to the album one more time. The band's last record, On The Impossible Past, was their breakthrough, and Rented World may fall a tiny bit short of the heights reached by its predecessor, but it is only because it is a slightly different direction for the group. Rented World seems like The Menzingers have become very comfortable with who they are and what music they make, and as their fourth album, it feels more like a new beginning for the group.


Track list:

1. I Don't Want To Be An Asshole Anymore
2. Bad Things
3. Rodent
4. Where Your Heartache Exists
5. My Friend Kyle
6. Transient Love
7. The Talk
8. Nothing Feels Good Anymore
9. Hearts Unknown
10. In Remission
11. Sentimental Physics
12. When You Died

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