ALBUM REVIEW: The Menzingers – Some Of It Was True


When a band captures a perfect creative moment like The Menzingers did with their sixth album 2019’s Hello Exile, they find themselves in a position of having to measure up to it. While Hello Exile was a creative high mark met with deserved praise from music critics such as myself, its success in terms of dollars and cents was relative as it hit 89 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. 


This could place the business of being in a band in a curious juxtaposition to the creative side of making their latest album, Some Of It Was True (Epitaph Records). Given that this album is being released on Epitaph Records, which is owned by Bad Religion’s guitarist Brett Gurewitz, it is unlikely they are being pushed to become the next Blink 182 eight albums into their career, but the band put the pressure on, bringing in Jon Low to mix the album – Low’s past clients including Taylor Swift and The National (suggesting his hourly rate is not cheap!). 


Low does a pristine job of placing every instrument perfectly in the mix for this album. At first, it is not too noticeable, the strummed intro to the first song is deceptive as the song builds into a punk bar anthem once the drums kick in. Lyrically, the song retains the charm of albums past.  The heart of the band’s sound lies in the tons of conviction Greg Barnett pours into his voice. His singing carries an anxious quiver of vibrato, along with a punk snarl to punch out the song’s accents. 



This is pushed to a raw level of honesty on “There is No Place in This World For Me”, which recaptures the magic of their most classic material. This is also the album’s most powerful song. 


The changes brought with the more streamlined commercial production value are not truly felt until “Nobody Stays”. The vocal lines for this song are brighter, creating more emphasis on an almost pop-punk sound that may take a few listens to grow. The dynamics to the title track are more interesting as the vocals have more room to muse with more emotional depth than on previous releases. This song is another lyrically sharp gem. They balance out the use of the country-influenced twang, blending it into some of the more driving moments of the album like the song “Try”, which flows impressively into a slower more melodic section. 


The more accessible direction of this album is best felt on “Come on Heartache”. It’s polished in a manner that is not unlike Weezer’s modern day output, though the unique country-tremble to Barnett’s voice sets them apart from the other punk-tinged bands that have bled into the mainstream in recent years. “Ultraviolet” has a Bruce Springsteen feel, with the guitars mixed in a manner similar to radio hits of the eighties, which also gives the vocals their rightful place in the spotlight. They do shed the slick sheen of production on songs like “Alone in Dublin” with the organic rock feel that I want from them. 


The album’s strongest moments are found  on songs like “I Didn’t Miss You” when the band retains the old bar-room edge that bares their hearts with an honest hunger. After repeat listens the technical aspects of the recording process settle into your brain, and the songs speak for themselves, with the production enhancing the masterful songwriting, which wins out. 


If you are a fan of the band, this album will make sense once your ears settle into it, they wisely offer up some of the rawest soul-baring moments to warm you up for where they grow from that point on. If you are a fan of Americana flavored rock n’ roll played by aging punks, you will be even more richly rewarded. 


Buy the album here:

9 / 10