Yeah, this is the best summary of this band/album.
Unbelievable record. This is what Against Me! was aiming for -- guess their "failure" (I use that term very loosely) was the Menzingers' gain. They essentially did what every other punk band is making an attempt to do and pulled it off with their own perfect combination of style & originality -- not to mention sincere intelligence.
I'm going to wholeheartedly disagree with your sentiment that this is what Against Me! was aiming for. The Menzingers seem to want to lean more toward the "rock n' roll" side of things (for lack of a better way of putting it) while maintaining the energy and general aesthetic of their previous work. At least, that's the vibe I get when listening to this record.
From what I can gather of the last two Against Me! records? They wanted to metamorphasize into something drastically different. Sure, at the end of the day, the songs were still rock tunes inspired
by punk rock, but they've deliberately been distancing themselves from that scene in general for a while now. The Menzingers still seem firmly in place.
If that makes sense. Another way of looking at it? "This album sounds like what would have happened if the Gaslight Anthem still played with punk rock energy." Not to say they don't have energy, but you see what I'm getting at hopefully...