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On The Impossible Past

by The Menzingers

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Sam Fishel
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Sam Fishel Truly one of my favorite albums. Never has a band made me feel so happy and so depressed (in the best possible way) at the same time. Melancholy and nostalgic. Makes you think of all the chances you didn't take, all the things you could've done differently and all the things you can't change. Favorite track: Mexican Guitars.
VIN thumbnail
VIN Musically and lyrically superb. Intelligent Punk. Favorite track: Freedom Bridge.
MVB thumbnail
MVB this album makes me feel like everything is going to be ok again Favorite track: Mexican Guitars.
Celine Schmelzer
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Celine Schmelzer The Menzingers are one of those bands that put truth behind the idea that punk music is salvation and that when all else fails you, music will not. This album was the first of theirs I fell in love with, a real punch in the gut. Favorite track: The Obituaries.
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released February 21, 2012

Recorded in the fall of 2011 at Atlas Studios in Chicago IL.

Produced and mixed by Matt Allison
Engineered by Justin Yates
Mastered by Dave Collins
Band Photo by Daniel Muller
Layout by John Yates
Cover Photo by Mark Cohen

All songs by The Menzingers except "Casey" by The Menzingers and Daniel Zezeski

The Menzingers are:
Tom May - Guitar, Vocals
Greg Barnett - Guitar, Vocals, Glockenspiel
Joe Godino - Drums
Eric Keen - Bass

Web: | |

Would like to thank: Our Family and Friends for propping us up in great times and in bad, everyone across the country and the world who has been kind and receptive to us in every way one can imagine, there is not enough space to thank you all! Toby Jeg at Red Scare Industries, Matt Allison and Justin Yates at Atlas Studios, Tony Godino, Scott Bell, Jon Murphy, Tim Zahodski and Carl Severson at Good Fight Entertainment, Ryan O’Connor at Think Fast! Booking, Phil Battiato, Tim Borror, and Tom Taffe at Agency Group, Brett and everyone at Epitaph, Vanessa Burt at Mutiny PR, Adam Kreeft at Kreeft Booking, Daniel Zezeski, Above Them, Against Me!, Algernon Cadwallader, Amy Opsasnick, Andy Clarke, Andy Nelson and R5 Productions, Anti Flag, Ava House (RIP), Bomb the Music Industry!, Boy Sets Fire, Brendan, Neil, and Chris of The Lawrence Arms, Broadway Calls, Captain We’re Sinking!, Cassie Podish, Cheap Girls, Chris Moran, Cobra Skulls, Colin Lodwick, Dan Hendricks, Dave March, Dead End Path, Dead to Me, Elway, Evan Hughes, Fake Problems, Glocca Morra, Go Rydell,, Highlights, How Dare You, Irie Idea, Jeremy Meyers at Jump Start, Jesse Cannon, Jonathon Juneau, Justin August, Kate Hiltz, The Bouncing Souls, Katie Degroote-Jeg, Kieran Kelly, Keith and Chelsea Mae Yosco, Keith Mahone, Kite Party, Leagues Apart, Lee Corey Oswald, Less Than Jake, Lock and Key Collective, Look Mexico, Luther, Make Out Party Records, Make Do and Mend, Mightier Than the Sword Records, NOFX, Nick Fanelli and Dead Industry, Nimbus Terrifix, One Win Choice, Outbreak, Paint it Black, Red City Radio, Restorations, Rise Against, Scott Engel at Russo Music (Asbury Park NJ), Sharks, Shop Radiocast, Static Radio, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Arteries, The Bombpops, The FEST, The Flatliners, The Gaslight Anthem, The Holy Mess, Love Drunk Videos, The Riot Before, The Sidekicks, The Wonder Years, Three Man Cannon, Tigers Jaw, Title Fight, Tony and Cam at No Idea, Touche Amore, White Wives, WKDU 91.7FM Philly, We Would NOT Like to Thank Laura Stevenson and the Cans. We Would Also Like to Send Our Greatest Appreciation to Kazuma at FGN Guitars, Evan O'Brien at LAG Acoustic Guitars, Derek Brooks at Ernie Ball, Chad Brandolini at Vater Percussion, Dan Bruck at KRK Systems, Steve Lobmeier at Evans Drum Heads, and Adam & Bob at Innes Clothing.

Management: Tim Zahodski & Carl Severson for Good Fight Entertainment
U.S. Booking: Phil Battiato and Tim Borror for The Agency Group
Canadian Booking: Adam Kreeft for Kreeft Booking
International Booking: Tom Taaffe for the Agency Group
Publicity: Jessica Giordano for Epitaph
Legal: Bryan K. Christner
A&R: Brett Gurewitz



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The Menzingers Scranton, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Good Things
I’ve been having a horrible time pulling myself together, I’ve been closing my eyes to find the old familiar failures. I’ve been closing my eyes to find why all good things should fall apart. Like when we would take rides in your American muscle car, I felt American for once in my life and I never felt it again. So all good things should fall apart.
Track Name: Burn After Writing
Here’s to you, the same chords that I stole
From a song that I once heard
The same melody I borrowed from the void
I’d rather observe than structure a narrative
The characters are thin, the plot does not develop
It ends where it begins
It’s on the screen, in paperbacks
In section 8 and cul de sacs
Electro haikus and drunk sonnets
Are moving me along

You cut my hair
You left red ink everywhere
Do my hands tell a story?
Is it boring?

What I’d give to force your sigh
What I’d give to see you cry
What I’d give for your caress
To see your blue cotton dress
Balled up on the floor
Certain memories are the problem
Certain drunken lines are the shame
Seven hundred miles and four years
I can’t fight the flame, it burns

Was I wishing on satellites?
Tell me how you’ve been doing that trick
I’m just wishing the flame away
Now I’m wishing the flame away
Track Name: The Obituaries
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. 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, and I’ve been spending all my time reading the obituaries. But I will fuck this up, I fucking know it. Because I am the shadow of the waxwing slain, I fell for the false azure of window panes, I am just freaking out, I’ll be fine. But I will fuck this up, I fucking know it.
Track Name: Gates
I am the pain that beats through your temples, every morning when you wake up. I am the boy with alcohol poisoning, from all the parties Chris was throwing that summer they took us in, like every other American, for getting drunk around back of a lions club, waiting for the shitty bands to finish up, and some kids played hacky sack while the others just got high. Its not hard to fall for a waitress, when you both smoke the same cigarettes, you’ll get seated as diners or lovers, you’ll get the check as friends for the better, you’ll carve your names into the Paupack cliffs just to read them when you get old enough to know that happiness is just a moment. So I’m marching up to your gates to today to throw my lonely soul away, cause I don’t need it you can take it back. And they will make examples out of us, like when they caught you in the CVS parking lot, but I fed the liars everything I got, in my cabinet brain of canned thoughts.
Track Name: Ava House
Ava are you trying to get high?
I hope the floor holds this time
We’ll dance in subtle romance together
While we’re making our time
While we’re making our time
While we make our time

I saw the knife, now I’m leaning forwards
Straight city light cut me down to size
The bums are scheming on their Tall Boys
I can hardly open my eyes

I saw the knife, now I’m leaning forwards
I’m two wheels barreling down your way
You can’t touch us we’re untouchable
Lament the beginnings that we celebrate
Never afraid, we’re fearless together
The rest, they’re waiting their lives away
Gold has us slurring and pissing out windows
Enemies are so far away

We’re alive
Track Name: Sun Hotel
I remember you well at the Sun Hotel, where we were waiting impatiently for a decent nights sleep. Its like I’ve landed in the rubble of my past life and I’ve never seem to bought a return flight, from the shame, the fear, the guilt that’s tough to mention, the kind that always pries your eyelids open. I’m pretty sure this corner of the world is the loneliest corner in the whole world, maybe its me or the bartender, this Budweiser or the other customers. When all eyes are glued on the 6:00 news, for another fire and another successful deer season. I’ll leave you alone and you will leave me alone. I remember you well at the Sun Hotel, where we were running out of money, where we were grinding down our teeth.
Track Name: Sculptors and Vandals
I remember when you came around
I was younger, burning statues to the ground
Now I’m older and tired, I no longer see the differences
I remember the taste of the fruit
Disremember all we knew
Said we wanted to be interesting
Then we fell asleep

These days you’ll find me where the nectar is plenty
The looks are cheap and the talk is heavy
Where liars lie to themselves

I remember

You said, “Sometimes I need you around”
You said that my conveniences are so convenient
You said you wanted to be interesting
Then you fell asleep

Walk home single, seeing double
Track Name: Mexican Guitars
You were an old friend, the kind I could confide in and drink with, on random neighbors porch steps, our glossy eyes painted portraits of the streets. You were an old friend, who covered up your innocence with bad tattoos, of all the bands you loved in high school, the ones you said that I had to listen to, all of the time. I did what I did to get away from this, cause everything that’s happened has left me a total wreck, and everything that I do now is meaningless, so I’m off to wander around the world for a little bit. Without 100 channels with nothing on the T.V., and the great pessimistic unknown. So does anyone know the best way to go, which road that I could take to get to Mexico, because I’m so sick of living in this ditch, with only the memory in the back of my head. I’m on cruise control and the radio was on, they were playing that song that we both learned on our Mexican Guitars. You were an old friend.

On The Impossible Past

We took rides in your American muscle car, I felt American, we shared our smokes, I held the wheel while you drank and drove, our plans were miserable. And then we crashed your car, your American muscle car, into a ditch on Saw Mill Road, there was ice on all the roads, we always dreamt of having nice things.
Track Name: Nice Things
The western wall is a jumbo screen
At the gate there is an automatic teller machine
Sir, empty your pockets please before you file through
The king and queen foreclosed on their crowns
While the joker laughed and made his rounds
He was drunk, carrying on self satisfied

The western walls are closing in
Are you happy, sane, are you rich are you thin?
Dreaming their dreams? Singing songs of another time?
Is your gold so strangely acquired?
Has your name become known and desired?
Have you degenerated? Are you running out of time?

Do you want nice things? Sure you do
Do you call nice things your own?

Do you want them? Do you want to feel safe?

Climb the wall, before the fall
No one is waiting for, Nobody’s waiting, No one is waiting for you
Track Name: Casey
I sat and thought about you on the long ride back to Philly, from the way you’d wear your hair to the way that you’d laugh when you drank too much, before the plug was pulled, the fire burned out, and all the parties grew bored, you waited tables and I waited for your shift breaks. Gin and Casey used to dance inside me and I know I sound like a broken record every time I open my mouth, I want to wander around the city with you again when you waited tables and I waited for your shift breaks. Me and Casey used to get drunk before we did the dishes every evening, Me and Casey used to get high and listen to our boredom, because it was so much easier than dealing with everything. So Casey, tell me when you’re ready I’m all packed to go, to search for that old place we found forever ago, we could take my car Casey shes still got the spirit, we could live and no longer just have to hear it.
Track Name: I Can't Seem To Tell
Well the silence hasn’t been broken as we reach the point of utter disgust, as the weeks drag on, the lies unfold, the alcohol loses its touch, and I once held your words so close to my heart with a knife protecting all of them, but now we made our beds in a deep dense forest where sound won’t ever take the blame. As I dig my hands through the cold dark dirt in a search for whats now lost forever, with one last great hope of a messiah I check the time and admit to the surrender terms, remember the days when I had a conscience, yeah me neither, I’m warning you. That I can’t seem to tell if it’s my head of the earth that’s spinning around.
Track Name: Freedom Bridge
Amy was a waitress at The Fire Street Grill
Up route 611 she was slaving for the pill
Oxy’s got her pupils pinned up
A junkie centerfold
With grey hairs and a death wish
She was 22 years old

Had it all, took the fall, had it all, took the fall

Specialist Jeg, a much more honest man than you
Came back from the desert where he never found the truth
Now he screeches tires, fills his head with alcohol
While the morbid brown faces hang like portraits on the wall

Had it all, he took the fall, had it all, THEY took it all

Something happened on the way to hell, the new guard they took my sister
Something happened on the way to hell, the old guard they took my brother away
Something happened on the way to hell, the same greed it took our parents
Something happened on the way to hell, the west wall it took us with it

McTiernan was a good ol’ boy, he cheated and he skimmed
“A favor for a favor, it can’t be called a sin”
Some may see it different, and some don’t see at all
When the papers started calling he closed his eyes and took the fall

Had it all, took the fall, had it all, took the fall

Now we’re standing on the ledge and we’re looking at the ground
I feel my body breaking on the asphalt, hear the sound
Red and blue lights screaming saying “Step up off that ledge”
So we wrap our hearts up in our heads and take the fall instead

Had it all, took the fall, had it all, took the fall