The Menzingers

After The Party

FILE UNDER: Nostalgic, romantic and melodic punk

After The Party

THE MENZINGERS

2/3 // Epitaph

****

ROCKS LIKE: The Gaslight Anthem, the Lawrence Arms, Against Me!

WHAT'S DIFFERENT: Not much, honestly—besides the Menzingers further cementing themselves as modern kings of heartfelt and nostalgic melodic punk, with that signature splash of alternative rock accessibility. Stray songs like the balladic “Black Mass” and the closing “Livin’ Ain’t Easy” mark new musical territory, but the Menzingers have always offered a steady mix of gravelly ragers and impossibly sad, lovelorn tunes. After The Party is another sterling installment, littered with picturesque punk-rock imagery (“You’re a silhouette in high top sneakers/You’re hardcore from laptop speakers”), semi-renounced Catholic upbringings and the haunts of Asbury Park and Philadelphia.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: After The Party stacks up with the Menzingers’ best material. “Lookers” contains the most deeply affecting chorus they’ve ever written. Greg Barnett gives an invigorating vocal performance on “Your Wild Years,” and the highlight title track is an urgent state of personal affairs. Brian Shultz

OUR PICK: “Lookers”

Epitaph Records http://epitaph.com//