Since Thursday until about 7 p.m. today, the only album I played in my car is The Menzingers’ “On the Impossible Past.”

I try not to write about the same band two posts in a row, but I have barely absorbed anything else.

“Remember the days when I had a conscience? Yeah, me neither./And I’m warning, I’m warning, I’m warning you./And I’m warning, I’m warning, I’m warning you/That I can’t seem to tell, I can’t seem to tell, I can’t seem to tell if it’s my head or the earth that’s spinning around.” ~ I Can’t Seem to Tell, The Menzingers, On the Impossible Past

I’ve concluded that “Gates” (see previous post) is their “please-play-me-on-the-radio” song, and I love it immensely. Beyond “Gates,” the album shows to be grittier, grungier. Nothing I would classify as screamo, it’s very melodic, but there’s definitely some vocal chord tearing going on here and there. Love it. The title track is fascinating, a dirge-like memory of a car crash, that serves as a 1:33-long intro into “Nice Things,” which is somewhat of a social commentary on how to not be a tool with a vocalist switch.

There’s hints of an overarching narrative, something about American muscle cars and dating waitresses, passing mentions of drinking and drug use. Paints a pretty good picture of where this is coming from. A lot of it is just really sad, really desperate, yet really alive.

“And I’m pretty sure this corner of the world is the loneliest corner in the whole world.” ~Sun Hotel, The Menzingers, On the Impossible Past

Many of the guitar parts remind me of songs a friend back home writes, a friend I look up to despite (or maybe because of) the fact he is a total fucking outlaw. I’ve also concluded this album feeds everything in me that loves punk bands, though. For example: really triumphant guitar solos in the face of falling faithless, really despondent tales of drinking while feeling said feelings, varying levels of begrudging maturity, screaming out a girl’s name to the fates that fucked it all up, doubletime.

Take this hook, for example. If that’s not what I want to hear on my way to work, I don’t know what is.

“We stumbled and stared at the carnival lights that lit up New York City,
From a rooftop in Brooklyn that was covered in bad graffiti.
And then I let a thousand splinters pierce right through my spoiled liver,
Or whatever that was left of it.

‘Cause I’ve cursed my lonely memory with picture-perfect imagery.
Maybe I’m not dying I’m just living in decaying cities.
But I’m still healthy, I’m still fine,
I’ve been spending all my time reading the obituaries.

But I will fuck this up,
I fucking know it.

I will fuck this up,
I fucking know it.
I will fuck this up,
I fucking know it.
I will fuck this up,
I fucking know it.”

~The Obituaries
The Menzingers, On the Impossible Past