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Menomena - Friend and Foe (Cover Artwork)

Menomena

Menomena: Friend and FoeFriend and Foe (2007)
Barsuk Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: bwillysgbwillysg
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When I was told of a band called Menomena, I immediately thought of the Muppets song. Maybe that makes me weird, although I would likely fit right in with what this band is going for. The absurdist artwork that accompanies every aspect of the band (and the animated .GIF backgrounds on their websi.
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When I was told of a band called Menomena, I immediately thought of the Muppets song. Maybe that makes me weird, although I would likely fit right in with what this band is going for.

The absurdist artwork that accompanies every aspect of the band (and the animated .GIF backgrounds on their website) should give a pretty good impression that this band likes to mess around. In fact, I still can't tell if they take themselves seriously at all. Regardless, they are best described as a band that creates minimalist indie soundscapes. Sure, sometimes they are undeserving of the minimalist tag, with some songs containing very complex instrumentation, but nearly every song contains some portion that's just drum and bass, drum and keys, or drum and a percussive baritone sax riff. Yes, baritone sax, which adds some interesting textures, although it rarely breaks out of a rythmic style.

When Menomena are at their best, they combine the percussive nature of their instrumentation with smoother singing, like the impressive "Evil Bee." Their most aggressive song, "The Pelican" is also a standout, with some great vocal melodies and angular guitars that, by channeling At the Drive-In, can compete with the best post-punk hipsters.

Yet, therein lies a problem that we have seen so many times before. While some tracks and moments within tracks standout immensely, the rest really doesn't jump out and grab you. That's not to say it's bad, it just pales in comparison. The band is essentially an experimental outfit, but most of the songs retain a percussive nature that blends them together.

Menomena really is a worthwhile band, and they have inklings of greatness. Hopefully their next album can utilize those inklings and create a truly great indie album.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
butmickler (May 1, 2008)

this album is highly innovative yet very catchy at the same time, combining a variety of different sounds while maintaining constructive song structures that leave you with a feeling of perpetual bliss. I still like their earlier works more, but these Menomena albums tend to grow on me as time goes on. This band is amazing live, and I don't quite think the recording of these new songs quite gives the band justice. Go oon youtube to look at their performances in juans basement, that is mouth droppingly awesome.

mysafetysharvard (April 29, 2008)

The only bad part about this album is the Pitchfork boner that ensued after it was released. The songs on this album are so unique and rocking. Baritone sax? Bass-via-keyboard? It works.

http://barsukmusic.blaireau.net/menomena/

So good.

Archangel (April 27, 2008)

The artwork on that CD is AMAZING. Just incredible.

And the first song is mind-blowing.

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