The Menzingers – Chamberlain Waits

(c) 2010 Red Scare
Rating: ★★★★☆

I might be overstepping my bounds, but I think that songwriting is back in a big way. Much of the material that has been sliding across my desk as of late has been big into well structured, well arranged music that is exceedingly well executed and dynamic yet in no way pretentious or insistent. Not the least of these is “Chamberlain Waits” from Scranton, PA.

To borrow the words from their Wikipedia page (repetition only makes it more true, right?) The Menzingers formed in the wake of of former ska-punk acts, Bob and the Sagets and Kos Mos. While it appears that much of the ska got left in the same wake, there are elements that still shine through such as sparing lead guitar runs over a solid back beat.

“Chamberlain Waits” delivers on its 12 tracks in a convincing heartfelt manner. Excellent vocal harmonies and hints of Lawrence Arms and Bruce Springsteen and The Clash come to mind upon repeated listening.

This disc was the first Menzingers for me, but I can assure that it won’t be the last. “Chamberlain Waits” offers the right mix of aggression, depression, humility and introspection that makes it work just right for any number of listening occasions. I look forward to more damn fine tunes from this band.

-Jerry Actually

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