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Music / The Menzingers

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An American rock band that originated in Scranton, Pennsylvania but is now based in Philadelphia. The band was founded in 2006 by Greg Barnett, Joe Godino, Eric Keen, and Tom May, who remain its sole members. With the release of Hold On, Dodge and Chamberlain Waits, the group began to garner attention within the Punk Rock and Alternative Rock realms. Independent behemoth label Epitaph Records signed The Menzingers in 2011, garnering them a wider audience and setting the stage for the acclaimed On the Impossible Past. Despite some fans and critics' unwavering devotion to OTIP, the Menzingers have continued to enjoy growth and success with 2014's Rented World and 2017's After the Party.

Stylistically, the group is noted for pairing Three Chords and the Truth charm with confessional lyrics that often make use of literary references. Similarities have been drawn to The Gaslight Anthem, Against Me!, The Replacements, Jawbreaker, Green Day, the Mountain Goats, and The Clash. In addition to their studio recordings, the Menzingers are known for their relentless touring schedule and the cathartic and energetic nature of their live performances.


  • 2007: A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology
  • 2009: Hold On, Dodge (EP)
  • 2010: Chamberlain Waits
  • 2012: On the Impossible Past
  • 2013: Shocking Split (EP)
  • 2014: Rented World
  • 2017: After the Party
  • 2017: Covers (EP)
  • 2019: Hello Exile
  • 2020: From Exile (Acoustic re-imaginings of the whole Hello Exile album)
  • 2023: Some of It Was True

The Menzingers provide examples of the following tropes

  • The Alcoholic: Heavy drinking is frequently referenced, particuarly in a song called "I Can't Stop Drinking" where the narrator talks about being drunk at lots of inopportune situations, and being upset by his girlfriend talking to him about it.
  • Balcony Wooing Scene: The video for "I Don't Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore" features the Say Anything... variant, with a hockey-masked killer holding up a boombox outside the window of a girl he's trying to get with, which plays the song through it.
  • Big Applesauce: Though the band calls Pennsylvania home, Greg regularly namedrops New York City ("The Obituaries", "Charlie's Army").
  • Car Song: The title song "On the Impossible Past", with references throughout the album to that sweet, slick American muscle car.
  • Cheerful Funeral: Fails in "Farewell Youth", what's supposed to be a celebration of life for a dead friend becomes unbearably sad.
    "At your Irish Wake we celebrate by trying not to cry"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "I will fuck this up / I fucking know it"
  • Concept Video:
    • "I Don't Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore" tells the story of a Jason Voorhees-type killer resolving to be a good guy and find a girlfriend.
    • "After the Party" tells the story of a couple who meet at a party and have a wild, passionate, and drama-filled relationship.
    • "America (You're Freaking Me Out)" tells the story of an alien who shows up in America and goes on a crazy road trip throughout the country, interacting with rednecks, urban party girls, contemporary political news, and all other sorts of wild antics.
  • Cover Version: "Straight to Hell" by The Clash and "Kate is Great" by the Bouncing Souls were both recorded and released. During live shows, they've been known to cover some Lawrence Arms, Rancid, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Operation Ivy.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album art for OTIP and Rented World.
  • Face on the Cover: The cover of Rented World.
  • Funetik Aksent: Without phoneticization, the band's name would read more like Die Minnesänger (thus they averted that super edgy umlaut).
  • Gratuitous German: Four men from the American rust belt taking their band name from the German word for minstrel.
  • Grief Song: "Farewell Youth" is about the death of an old friend, but also expresses sadness about the loss of old relationships and about getting older.
  • Joisey: A frequent setting for their songs.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: The video for "I Don't Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore" features a hockey-masked killer, implied to be Jason, making a resolution to "be positive" and find a girlfriend.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Two sequential albums: On the Impossible Past from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and Rented World from the poem "Aubade" by Philip Larkin.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The band has never had a lineup change in the decade they've been playing together.
  • One-Woman Song: "Anna", about the narrator's faltering long-distance relationship with the titular Anna.
  • Performance Video: The music video for "In Remission".
  • Shout-Out: Too many to list. The band has a proclivity for sneaking references to literature and pop culture into their lyrics.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Much of their music utilizes this to great effect.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Tom and Greg switch off on lead vocals.
  • Wandering Minstrel: The band's name is a cross-linguistic nod to this trope. It was a fitting choice, given that The Menzingers have spent much of their guessed it...traveling around the world performing songs.