Full disclosure: I love this band.
My first encounter with the Menzingers was during 2006 or 2007- my first year in grad school. I was in a bad place- new city, few friends, just been dumped, and my supervisor and I did not get along very well. Combine this with the fact that I did not have a car, getting away from where I worked/lived/educated myself was a daunting proposition.
I did the best I could- I probably could have done better. One of my escapes at work, however, was the computer, where I would play various internet radio stations to carry me away from the shit that was my day. One such station was punkradiocast- a Canadian station that played a good (if repetitive) mix of songs and exposed me to a ton of artists (including the Copyrights and American Steel). One day, a song I later discovered to be "Sir, Yes Sir" came on and I was hooked, instantly. Only I had no clue what the name of the song or artist was, listening through Windows Media Player as I had to at work. I would go home every night, searching the depths of Google for any hint to the lyrics I remembered. Eventually, after months of searching, one virus laden site had the name of the song, the band, and the album.
The Menzingers...A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology
I got my hands on the album some time later, and just devoured it whole. I loved every second that graced my ears. "A Lesson" leaves you winded, exhausted, and beat up- you have just come out of a Fight Club brawl with a smile on your bloodied face.
Over time I got involved in a message board that shared my love for the Mezingers. When their EP, "Hold on Dodge" came out, we all had a collective smile of pure joy. The same punchers attitude permeated the album, but in a far more mature way. When the single for the new album came out, we fawned over the acoustic tracks.
I have managed to see this band twice now, and both times, they absolutely blew me away. The first time, at a punk house in Bushwhick...words cannot describe. Within one song, both vocalist mics were broken and I was showered in beer. I was yelling, screaming, climbing over people singing along to every lyric. After, I shared whiskey with the vocalist, Greg.
I saw them again a few weeks later at a bar in Williamsburg. They went on first. There was not mashing of bodies against each other this time, not until my friend jumped on my back, nearly knocking me into the band. The set was just as energetic, peppered with tracks from their impending release.
Afterward, we shared pizza and beer with Greg during the second band (who were horrendous). I even managed to embarrass the vocalist at the end of the show, proclaiming my distaste for the second band...standing not one foot from her. Oops.
Yesterday, the Menzingers released "Chamberlain Waits" digitally. This album kicked my ass in a totally different way the "A Lesson." Rather than a brawl, this was an artistic beatdown from the likes of Jet Li. I was floored, and continue to be, listening to the album six times in 16 hours.
Catchy and passionate, this album does not disappoint. If you feel any disillusionment at all with the current state of things, do yourself a favor and pick up their discography, and yell along in cathartic bliss.