From Exile is the new album by The Menzingers, showing a slightly different side to the band than one would usually expect. It’s actually a recreation of their previous album, Hello Exile, but in a completely different style. Instead of sounding like a punk rock album, From Exile strips the songs down completely, giving them more of a folky style. They’ve been heading this way for a while, but does this latest reimagining add anything new to their sound?
By Jane Howkins
As previously stated, The Menzingers have been heading in this direction for a long time. As time has gone on, their albums have got less punky, and have headed more into the folk-punk style that bands such as The Gaslight Anthem have made their own. We actually found Hello Exile to be a little lacking due to this – it’s not that we don’t like this type of music, but the songs didn’t seem as charming as on previous efforts – The Menzingers’ previous album After The Party was quite similar in tone, but the songs on that album seemed to be of more quality somehow. However, on From Exile, the songs really seem to shine – it almost sounds like this is how they were meant to be performed.
They’ve not just lazily transposed the tracks straight onto an acoustic guitar either. Real work has been put in here to make these songs sound unique, with different instruments and key changes being thrown in there for good measure. Our particular favourite is Last To Know – the main riff is now performed by a violin, adding an especially haunting feeling to the track. There’s more of a realness to these songs than the originals show, and we really do feel that From Exile is the definitive version of this album.
From Exile is a brilliant album and a faithful recreation, building upon the success of Hello Exile to create something exceptional. Some people may be put off by the idea of an acoustic album, but if that’s you, then please give this a try, as it truly is an amazing listen. It’s very exciting to think about where The Menzingers may take their music next time around – we’re hoping for a proper folk album at some point!