When I had my very short punk music phase (only musically, I was never rebellious and/or cool enough to actually be a punk), I came to love the more melodic punk songs because in a way it was the skill of creating an actually very pretty song and then bashing it to bits and pieces with rough instrumentals and raw singing. It made the whole music genre so appealing. It was the destruction of beauty.
The Menzingers – for fans of the genre probably already known for three previous albums – have released an album that is very old-fashioned in that way. Ok, it’s not a 70s or even 80s punk album but seems to be very cozy in the 90s and early 2000s and the roots of the kind of punk music that one day would hurl out the unfortunate remnants of what we now know as “College Rock”. But as with so many horribly genres, they were born out of awesome genres that were usually raw, honest and ingenious.
“Rented World” is the angsty punk rock album to feel very depressed and angry to, a somewhat sobering piece of music that has some optimistic moments but mainly revels in a well executed frustration that runs through great melodies and two very capable vocalists. There are really gorgeous moments on this album that allows itself moments of calm and lavish melodies without trying to outscream the listener in every song.
Maybe it’s my looming 30th birthday, but I do enjoy this nostalgic feel of the 90s in this album and sometimes I really wish I was 20 in the 90s because it must have been cool to be old enough to live like the characters of “Singles” and not have the biting and nearly nihilistic cynicism of the 21st century breathing down your neck. But then again, the worst thing about nostalgia is always the romanticism…