To be pure, to be utterly pure in a world full of impurities, you must forgive yourself and start dreaming and fight to the last. And obstacles become a chore to overcome, hazards are everywhere, and life becomes cumbersome, destined to hit that stern wall. Scrapping and scraping only works on occasion, and doing so may result in you feeling even more jaded and empty. But there is a record out there that candidly portrays feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and destructive pasts. The record in question is On The Impossible Past, by punk rockers The Menzingers.
This record outspokenly pushes the limits of emotion, directing the listener to distant places full of familiar faces. It’s also a stab at the underbelly of optimism, while still sticking to the formula of dramatic instances and agony. The band, aren’t the most glamorous of outfits, they’re not sitting on money laced beds, or in dazzling hotel rooms, they’re darting around in vans, and making music which resonates to the people who feel the hard brush of alienation.
On The Impossible Past doesn’t collect the dust of old. It is a record sitting on the cusp of greatness, featuring songs of self loathing, dreams gone bad, hearts infected by loneliness. It delivers musically and lyrically, and these musicians, proper in their musical outputs, are magicians in their own right.
The record was released in 2012, but still stands for the test. From the bittersweet opening to the swansong, it doesn’t overly commit to extravagance, as its only men playing riffs, hitting drums, and spilling their hearts. Honesty riffles through this record too, and it may sound audacious, but On The Impossible Past is a masterstroke.
Burn After Writing sticks in the head. A song of substance, bringing the riffs forward and the narrative swings in different directions. It’s an epic track. The Obituaries starts with impact, and is a punk thrill with emotion circling its brilliance. Sun Hotel has a story of impatience attached to it. The riff pleases and the drama doesn’t subside. Sculptors And Vandals starts slowly, and then rises into a punk track worthy of adulation.
On The Impossible Past thrills today as it did back then. The emotion is still as relevant and as raw.