The Menzingers – “Toy Soldier”

Philadelphia punks the Menzingers’ new surprise single “Toy Soldier” may be teasing an upcoming album. Maybe it’s just a one-off. Either way we’re lucky to have it.

Their latest release, 2017’s After The Party, was great for listening in your car, windows down, right before sunset. It saw the four-piece meditating on the golden hour of their youth and figuring out how to move forward.

“Toy Soldier” finds the Menzingers’ future filled with a fighting sorrow, but it’s covered by their usual pop-punk fuzz. Cemetery Tapes released frontman Greg Barnett’s live version of the song last month on 4/20. It’s a croon backed by the strained anger of Barnett’s thrashing, gritty voice. The studio version, produced by Will Yip, rips a bit harder and manages to be more emotive.

Like always, the Menzingers put their immense strength in songwriting at the forefront. The line “There’s so much to be sad about these days” sticks out. It’s not a new idea. It’s written in plain English. But Barnett turns it into a headbanging hook. Listen below.