Bands You Need to Know: The Menzingers

Where there is a band to be discovered, I will be there.

Anticipation filled the sold out Susquehanna Bank center as the lights finally dimmed down. First to the stage on the Rise Against tour is the four man, South Philly band, the Menzingers. The opening bands never have it easy, In my opinion. If I haven’t heard of you before, you only have a few minutes to win the crowd over and be remembered. So, here I am a few weeks later, and I am still recalling the performance given by The Menzingers in the beginning of February.

The band has a strong command of the stadium stage; you can’t help but be entertained just by the way they work the stage, jumping the entire length of the forty-minute set. Their songs are fast paced, creating a feeling of angst amongst the crowded room, the audience’s energy rivaled by the band themselves. With hooks like “we’ll burn the this city/ Scream, our throats are bleeding/ Wear our scars with pride” you’ll likely to feel like you’re sitting in a run-down pub somewhere in the middle of Dublin, chanting along as they pour their hearts out through their lyrics.

Consisting of Tom May (guitar/vocals), Greg Barnett (guitar/vocals), Eric Keen (bass), and Joe Godino (drums), The Menzingers are a bar rock group, founded in 2006, and self-proclaimed to be “punk as a dumpstered forty”. The band originally formed as a ska band under the name, “Bob and the Sagets.” Later, they got in touch with their punk side, adopting the name The Menzingers (a name, according to Tom May, being the phonetic spelling of the German word for troubadour, Minnesänger).

A year after the band’s formation, they released their first full length album titled “A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology.” Fast forward to 2011 and the band is now signed to Epitaph records, run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, alongside bands like Alkaline Trio, Set Your Goals, and New Found Glory. Gurewitz, upon the band’s signing, quoted to a variety of music magazines, “These guys play the kind of pure punk rock that I grew up with. They are seriously talented songwriters and I’m happy to welcome them to the Epitaph family. I think the band is a great fit here.”

And true punk rock they are. Take the sound of bands like Anti Flag and mix them with the lyrical talent of acts such as Rise Against and you’re left with the Menzingers.

The Menzinger’s, following their tour with Rise Against and A Day to Remember, released their third full length album February 20th, entitled “On the Impossible Past.” Prior to the album’s release date, the band released the single “Gates”. If one song can speak for the whole album, you can expect emotional storytelling set to what is a truly awesome punk rock backdrop.

For more information on tour dates, be sure to check out the band’s website, facebook.com/themenzingers. Take it from a self-proclaimed concert junkie. The Menzingers are sure to put on a good show. Philly is right around the corner from Arcadia’s campus, so there is no excuse to miss this band, and you will not want to!

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