Album Reviews

Album Review: The Menzingers - From Exile (Epitaph)

Roger Bowie

The Menzingers are an American punk rock band from Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States, formed in 2006. Guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May, bassist Eric Keen, and drummer Joe Godino

Menzingers by Jess Flynn

Jess Flynn

Since forming as teenagers in 2006, The Menzingers have shown their strength as rough-and-tumble storytellers, turning out songs equally rooted in frenetic energy and lifelike detail. To date, the band has released five studio albums, with the latest  being Hello Exile, last year

But lockdown has  unplugged them, and they have just released (today) a re-worked version of Hello Exile, recorded in isolation, and named , appropriately From Exile.

And it’s a little gem of unplugged punk rock Americana.

From the opening track, “America”, they strike deep into the heart of the American angst: “America I love you, but you’re  freaking me out’  As no doubt it is continuing to do.

“Anna” asks her to please come back to Philadelphia, and it sounds just as good in acoustic as it does in punk

“High School Friends” are the “Last to Know” but it is still good to know that getting fucked up is a pleasant memory.

But this record just chugs along with the stripped back melodies and contemporary songs serving us just as well in acoustic as electric. Fiddles abound, unlike the unsavoury character in the Who's Tommy, and we are far, so far from punk and deep into Kentucky. Maybe this is what America needs: Election hype unplugged.

Otherwise ordinary Americans become “Strangers Forever”


 “Hello exile” is heartfelt and Newporty folk festival

But, in short “I Can’t Stop Drinking” those “London Drugs” and this little glimpse of a surprise gem is all I have time for except to say, LISTEN TO THIS,  BUY THIS, even if you know The Menzingers, but especially, if, like me, you don’t. 

Written By: Roger Bowie Roger Bowie has been collecting music since 1964, starting with 45 rpm singles, and then building an LP and CD collection from 1970. 1.8 per week since then. Not a vast collection, but eclectic and occasionally obscure. Roger is a big Americana fan, and regularly attends AmericanaFest in Nashville, held every September. Also, he once played golf with Alice Cooper...