Some musicians spent quarantine writing new songs, some spent quarantine performing live online concerts, and The Menzingers spent quarantine reimagining their most recent album. The band from Scranton released their sixth studio album “Hello Exile” in October of 2019, an album which flaunted their refined catchy alt-punk sensibilities and explored new sounds with producer Will Yip.
This reconfiguration of “Hello Exile” is appropriately dubbed “From Exile”, as the four band members rearranged and recorded the stripped down versions of their most recent work from their respective homes amid a global pandemic. As fans of theirs would note, re-recording an album is not uncharted territory for the Menzingers.
They had previously recorded an acoustic version of their album “On the Impossible Past”, titled “On the Possible Past”. However, this time they did not simply just record an acoustic version of their album.
Guitarist and co-lead singer Greg Barnett said that the process was very experimental, “We blended analog and digital instruments in ways we never had before. We dug through old lyric notebooks and added additional verses. We got our dear friend Kayleigh Goldsworthy to play violin on two songs. No idea was off limits. Hell, I even convinced the band to let me play harmonica on a song”.
The Menzingers have released two tracks from this upcoming project, “Strawberry Mansion” and “High School Friend”. The former immediately benefits from Tom May’s bright acoustic picking and his vocals being lifted to the surface in the mixing process. The latter of the two tracks plays like an outtake from Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska as its simple ringing acoustic sound is accompanied by a wistful harmonica.
This reimagined album will be released digitally on September 25 and on vinyl November 13 via Epitaph Records. You can listen to both recently released tracks below.
High School Friend: