Photo: Charles Wrzesniewski
The Menzingers are the undisputed masters of nostalgia. They proved that once and for all with their 2012 masterpiece, On the Impossible Past, on which they sang wistfully about times spent taking rides in muscle cars, skipping work to go get high, and learning songs on Mexican guitars. They kept the sentiment rolling on Rented World, one of Noisey’s top ten albums of 2014.
Now, if their Instagram account is to be believed, the Philadelphia band has finished tracking their forthcoming fifth record, and while we all wait semi-patiently for it, they have dropped this track upon us from the heavens, called “Lookers.” Will it be included on their album? We don’t know. What we do know is that this is a classic and thoroughly catchy piece of Menzingian songwriting.
The song sees guitarist Greg Barnett looking at an old photo of himself with someone, and longing for the youth captured within, a time when they were more adventurous, when they “were both lookers.”
Thematically, “Lookers” is reminiscent of the sentiment behind songs like the Lawrence Arms’ “Seventeener” and Japandroids’ “Younger Us”—the desire to tell your younger self not to take the prime of your life for granted, and to cherish memories with another person. “You little Kerouac, always running like Dean and Sal,” Barnett says to his partner in crime. “Always waiting on a freight train, always looking for a story to tell, but that was the old you.” He also throws in a reference to hanging around smoke-filled diners, which makes "Lookers" feel like a close companion to On the Impossible Past's standout "Gates."
The Menzingers are heading out on tour soon with Bayside and Sorority Noise. Maybe they'll play "Lookers" if you ask nicely. Check out the dates below the song.