There’s something that feels particularly tough about seeing punk-rock on a Sunday night.
But it didn’t deter fans of Pennsylvania’s The Menzingers, with a fairly full Oxford Art Factory on hand early (12 February) to catch promising locals Oslow. With the band due to launch their self-titled debut album next month, there were plenty of people eager to hear the new tunes.
No strangers to these shores, The Menzingers have built a solid fan base here on the back of five records and a reputation for tight, energetic punk-rock. And they once again lived up to it. Bringing with them one of the albums of 2017 in ‘After The Party’, the new tunes shone bright from the get-go.
Opening with standout Springsteen-tinted ‘Lookers’, the nostalgia-drenched new material played out even better than on record.
‘Midwestern States’, ‘Tellin’ Lies’ and ‘Thick As Thieves’ were clear highlights, with Greg Barnett and Tom May sharing vocal duties expertly.
The pair even handled the inevitable punk audience ‘do a shoey!’ call-out – which also prompted one punter to lob one of his Vans sneakers onto the stage – with grace, while avoiding having to drink any beer out of a shoe in the process.
Fans got plenty of past tunes too, with faves such as ‘I Don’t Want To Be An Asshole Anymore’, ‘Casey’ and ‘Mexican Guitars’ providing a whole lot of fist-pumping joy during a show the band declared their favourite of the tour.
With a set packed with riffs, infectious enthusiasm and anthemic choruses, it’s no surprise the band continue to be such a hit on the festival circuit around the globe.
But tonight it was all about their club show; and the sound was loud and crisp, the energy was high and judging by the amount of crowd-surfing and stage-diving that slowly built throughout the set, there was no doubt the band helped everyone forget it was late on a Sunday night.
They also sold out of vinyl, which is an impressive feat in itself.