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 their latest record 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)
The Menzingers provide examples of the following tropes
- 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.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "I will fuck this up / I fucking know it"
- Concept Video: "I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore" and "After the Party", both of which rank among the most popular videos the band has produced.
- Contemptible Cover: To some, the cover of OTIP. Tom has gone on record saying that the band chose the cover in part for how beautiful and real the subject of the photo looks.
- 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.
- Joisey: A frequent setting for their songs.
- 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 Title: "Alpha Kappa Fall Off a Balcony" and "A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology".
- Long-Runner Line-up: The band has never had a lineup change in the decade they've been playing together.
- Mondegreen: "I don't wanna wakeboard / I don't wanna wakeboard / I don't wanna waaaaaaakeboard"
- 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 career...you guessed it...traveling around the world performing songs.