While he has a ton of shiny words at his disposal, Menzingers singer/guitarist Tom May's emotional lassitude is still best expressed in their latest record's unadorned opening line: "I've been having a horrible time/pulling myself together." Not only is On the Impossible Past
the Menzingers' finest hour, it's a timeless, crowning achievement in a genre already full of those. It's a collection of songs that are so great they can be enjoyed on multiple levels—as brainless yell-alongs in a car full of friends, or as whimper-accompanying vignettes in the privacy of one's own room, with tear-stained lyric sheet in tow. And it's this ambivalence that's present in the best rock and roll. Also performing are the Sidekicks, whose latest album, Awkward Breeds
, was Weezer's follow-up to Pinkerton
in a superior alternate universe. MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!