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Snapshots: The Menzingers w/ Lucero, The Dirty Nil @ Rams Head Live! — 6/9/24

The Menzingers, the well-regarded Philadelphia punk quartet, hit the road with a recent date in Baltimore at Rams Head Live!

Steve Satzberg was there to photograph the show, including The Menzingers and their openers, Lucero and The Dirty Nil.

The following article is adapted from press releases.

The Menzingers released Some Of It Was True, their seventh studio album, in 2023 via Epitaph Records and then returned to release an expanded version of the record in May. In the expanded edition, the band included two new tracks.

At Rams Head Live! on June 9, The Mezingers’ setlist quite a few songs from this album as well as After the Party (2017), the band’s fifth studio album.

Four years since the release of 2019’s Hello Exile, on Some Of It Was True (Deluxe), The Menzingers collaborated with Grammy-nominated producer Brad Cook (Bon Iver, the War on Drugs, Waxahatchee). Recorded at Texas’s legendary Sonic Ranch studio, Cook helped accomplish the daunting task of capturing their distinctive live energy within the confines of a studio and what results is their most immediate-sounding and energetic record to date.

Lyrically, Some Of It Was True is a showcase for how the band’s songwriting has expanded beyond their own personal experiences, drawing from what’s happening around them and the lives of those who keep this world’s lifeforce pumping.

“This record just feels different for us,” vocalist and guitarist Greg Barnett said. “It’s a really important one in our catalog, and a pivotal moment in our history. We have the liberty of our fans growing with us now, and after writing these lyrical songs about where we are in life, we decided to take other peoples’ stories and make something bigger out of it.”

At Rams Head Live!, The Menzingers spread five songs of Some of It Was True throughout the show, including “Come on Heartache” in the middle of the set.

Watch the official music video for “Come on Heartache” by The Menzingers on YouTube:

Lucero and The Dirty Nil opened The Menzingers at Rams Head Live!

Since forming in Memphis in the late ’90s, Lucero’s base musical hallmarks have remained similar to the band’s initial sound established with their first record The Attic Tapes. In the history of their expansive discography, Lucero has evolved and embraced everything from southern rock to Stax-inspired Memphis soul, whilst simultaneously maintaining their distinctive sonic foundations. Over 20 years later, dedicated fans of the group still flock to hear the band’s punchy driving rhythms, punk-rooted guitar licks, and lyrics that evoke the whiskey drenched sentimentality of Americana singer-songwriters. As expected of any band built to survive, Lucero has welcomed change over the course of their career, but it has always been on their terms.

The band’s 12th album, Should’ve Learned by Now, began its life as hardly more than some rough demos and lingering guitar parts. These pieces that were left behind from the band’s previous albums, Among the Ghosts (2018) and When You Found Me (2021) were deemed too uptempo and capering for the prior records’ darker themes. In 2023, Lucero released Should’ve Learned by Now.

Stream Should’ve Learned by Now by Lucero on Spotify:

The Dirty Nil, Ontario’s rock ‘n’ roll torchbearers, emerged with their fourth album, Free Rein to Passions, via Dine Alone Records in 2023, and it’s a return to a more reckless approach for the JUNO Award-winning trio. In order to incinerate their apparatus, they had to destroy it completely. After experimenting with some smoother, more radio-friendly sounds on 2021’s Fuck Art, The Nil promptly returned to the studio and got back to the basics of what their band is about at its core—thrashy riffs, bashed out drums, and levels-to-the-max volume.

“Fuck Art had a lot of singing on it. There were not a lot of parts where you could just jam out on riffs,” said frontman Luke Bentham. “Free Rein to Passions is a bit of a nastier record where we didn’t sweat the small insignificant details. If it sounded cool, we went with it.” The band pays homage to some of their loudest, gnarliest influences on Free Rein to Passions, with subtle nods to everything from Power Trip to the Jesus Lizard.

Stream Free to Rein Passions by The Dirty Nil on Spotify:

Here are some photos of The Menzingers performing at Rams Head Live! on June 9, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.

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Here are some photos of Lucero opening The Menzingers at Rams Head Live! on June 9, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.

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Here are some photos of The Dirty Nil opening The Menzingers at Rams Head Live! on June 9, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.

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