For Fans Of
A bit like your mum’s chunky chicken soup, The Menzingers’ Rented World is music made especially for the soul. It’s not easy outdoing a record with the kind of unparalleled success that On The Impossible Past enjoyed back in 2012, but The Menzingers must work well under immense pressure, because Rented World sees the band once again seize their place on the rickety, soulful-punk throne (it’s more like a rocking chair really).
If you feel the need to get to know The Menzingers on a personal level, ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’ should give you a glimpse of the unabashedly eccentric way the band go about declaring all of their insecurities and wretchedness with heart on tatty sleeve. Following a similar strain, ‘Sentimental Physics’ and ‘The Talk,’ while rarely ever compromising a solid melody, are two of most chaotic and disorienting tracks on a record that, for at least a good chunk of the time, is relatively non-antagonistic.
‘Bad Things’ and the single from the record, ‘In Remission’ are a touch less abrasive than their loudmouthed predecessors, and lyrics like ‘Don’t wait up for me, my friend/ I’ve been planning to watch the world burn’ and ‘If everyone needs a crutch then I need a wheelchair’ are, although it comes to no surprise, immediately frank and painfully sentimental. If anything, The Menzingers’ Rented World is charming in its tentative defiance and dubious sense of self-entitled fury.
At the same time, the record is full of those comfort-food style tunes like ‘Where Your Heartache Exists’ and in particular the achingly sorrowful final song, ‘When You Died’. Ultimately, Rented World is an unintended but valuable reminder that a few guitars, a set of drums and a voice box are all that’s needed to create something elegantly successful.
Stripping things down to the very basics does May’s vocals a world of justice, but equally so, his delivery works like clockwork with the ebbing and flowing melodies on louder classics like ‘Nothing Feels Good Anymore.’ It’s only on occasion, where the record reaches most ambitious, that the vocals do find themselves caught in the organized mess of stadium-vibe choruses.
The Menzingers know how to deliver a classic record that has undeniable appeal. With more than a little bit of old fashioned rock and roll thrown into the broth, and a whole lot of confidently delivered, classic and reliable melodies to accompany it, Rented World is impossible not to love whole-heartedly from the first.
1. I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore
2. Bad Things
4. Where Your Heartache Exists
5. My Friend Kyle
6. Transient Love
7. The Talk
8. Nothing Feels Good Anymore
9. Hearts Unknown
10. In Remission
11. Sentimental Physics
12. When You Died