“I will fuck this up, I fucking know it,” goes the self-defeating hook on “The Obituaries,” one of the most memorable songs from The Menzingers’ 2012 album On the Impossible Past. Despite the pessimism, the Pennsylvania-based band has had a great couple of years, recently signing to punk heavyweight Epitaph Records and releasing one of last year’s most celebrated pop-punk records. Impossible Past is littered with images of decaying cities, drunk fights, and hopeful reconciliations—the type of world-weary imagery familiar to fans of The Gaslight Anthem but without the Springsteen Americana shtick. The songs traffic in the nostalgia that comes from Pabst-colored glasses; in other words, this is your old, bearded brother’s pop punk. Tonight the band has the unenviable task of opening for Hot Water Music, the recently reunited and much beloved band whose iconic logo is tattooed on many a bike messenger’s leg. Something tells me The Menzingers won’t fuck this up.
The Menzingers perform with Hot Water Music and La Dispute at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $22. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.