Record Label: Epitaph Records
Buy on Amazon.com
During lockdown and stay at home orders because of Covid-19, The Menzingers repurposed their last full-length album Hello Exile into a more of a stripped-down, acoustic style and I love it! The album was already excellent to begin with but hearing the re-imagined songs is just as good.
I had a feeling The Menzingers would do something like this considering the title track “Hello Exile” had a twangy, acoustic vibe to it on last year’s album. I wanted more of that and well, I got it with From Exile. With this one, not every song is done in that country, acoustic style and some of them are just stripped down or done differently than what was on Hello Exile.
With the band, and many other punk bands doing this kind of thing during quarantine, it really shows the range of their music and how they can explore out of the usual punk rock boundaries. The tracklisting is the same as ‘Hello Exile,’ but the songs are changed up. “America” has an unplugged style to it, “Anna” is slowed down a bit and it still works. I always have a dilemma when putting these types of albums on my phone. I have to play music survivor in a way: which album do I keep or listen to over the other. In this case, I’m keeping both because it depends if you’re in an angry mood or another type of mood.
Some songs stand out more so this time around like “Last To Know,” “Strain Your Memory,” and “I Can’t Stop Drinking.” “Last To Know” and “I Can’t Stop Drinking” has a bit of a Levellers thing going on with the violin. “America” and “Anna” are still good but my favorite off this particular album is “Strawberry Mansion.” Just stands out more than others this time. With both albums, they seem fitting for 2020, you either want to get mad or you’re depressed and these albums fill that need. The Menzingers fans will really like these stripped down songs, but I guess it depends if you like songs slowed down or changed up to be *gasp* not punk rock.
Bottom Line: Just as good as the original release, except slower and more stripped down
Notable Tracks: America, Anna, High School Friend, Last To Know, I Can’t Stop Drinking, Strawberry Mansion