From the first driving chords of “I Don’t Wanna Be an A**hole Anymore” until the last tear-jerking notes of “When You Died,” the Menzingers have created a phenomenally emotional and relatable album. “Rented World” is a release like no other. Among the flamboyant pop stars and the over-produced radio garbage, it’s not so easy to find genuine, emotion-provoking, goosebump-radiating music today. “Rented World” is as real as it gets.
The Menzingers produce hard-hitting lyrics throughout, but the song “Rodent” stands out to me lyrically. Delivering lines like “I’ve tried running/I’ve tried hiding/I’ve tried everything but dying/damn the days we took for granted” with such emotion and feeling creates an inseparable connection between you and the music.
The main connection I have with the album is that it encompasses problems we all face. Self-conflict is expressed in “I Don’t Wanna Be an A**hole Anymore,” “Rodent,” “Bad Things,” and “In Remission.” Loss is portrayed in “My Friend Kyle” and “When You Died.” And love is seen in “Transient Love,” “Nothing Feels Good Anymore,” and “Where Your Heartache Exists.” Although not everyone may feel every song the way Tom May and Greg Barnett do, we’ve all been through these types of situations, making the songs very relatable.
Musically, this record showcases the passion and skill the Menzingers have to offer. May and Barnett’s guitars complement each other extraordinarily well on songs like “Transient Love” and “Hearts Unknown.” The Menzingers also stay consistent with their previous records’ upbeat punk style with “The Talk” and “Sentimental Physics.” The experimental ballad “When You Died” shows Bob Dylan’s influence and strays from the Menzingers’ roots, but the track adds to the depth of the record.
“Rented World” delivers a variety of fast- and slow-paced, emotion-driven punk songs that’ll be sure to give you goosebumps and have you singing along the whole way.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.