THE MENZINGERS play the Opera House June 3. See listing. Rating: NNN
Punk rock is full of young adults frustrated by the cruel world. But on their fourth full-length, 30-somethings the Menzingers take that dissatisfaction one step further, adding tales of heart-wrenching paranoia and self-realization to the mix.
Instead of condemnations of society's expectations, lead singer Tom May comes to terms with his place as an aging punk, employing a newfound clarity in his lyrics.
Driving opener I Don't Want To Be An Asshole Anymore keeps the "woh-ohs" to a minimum and gets to the point, something Menzingers albums have had trouble doing in the past. Nothing Feels Good Anymore captures the loneliness of being the oldest person at the party.
Slower jam When You Died falters by asking somewhat predictable questions about mortality, failing to capitalize on the momentum built by the rest of the record's powerful, riff-based tracks.
The Menzingers haven't necessarily mastered the grown-up punk formula, but they're certainly maturing with each new release.
Top track: In Remission