Well, I’m done being sick, so here’s an update.
As early as November 2006, Barsuk Records released “Wet & Rusting“, a song of varied textures and bubbling with energy in all points. This tune was written by Menomena, in anticipation of their new release, Friend and Foe, and was widely enjoyed by listeners everywhere, and loved upon by Pitchfork Media, claiming an 8.5. Although, it’s also wise to mention that in the past few years, PFM has stepped back from brutally honest reviews, and rightfully earned 3.8 or 2.2 ratings. Now, I don’t know…maybe their writers broke too many young artists’ hearts.
At any rate, we’re talking about Menomena. What really has set them apart for me is their use of so many sounds. While only being a three piece, they cover the traditional guitar,bass, and drums, but also keyboards, a myriad of processed sounds, and saxophones. Layered and beautifully harmonized vocal tracks also keep the flow alive. With all these combinations though, it seems impossible for Menomena to do anything but oversaturate every song — but they don’t, and that’s what blows us away.
It’s easy to point out that the drums and bass lead the group, but it’s the pounding low tones that really drive the songs home. In the song “Pelican”, it’s not exactly heavy, but the low piano smashes and distorted drums in the midpoint keep a pulsating and hypnotizing tempo. “Wet & Rusting” has a very simple and innovative bass and piano contrast, and “Weird” allows the bass to dance on an awkwardly fitting off beat. Combining these tones with the gentle, while sometimes angular, guitar and keyboard and soulful, interweaving lyrics make for such an enjoyable listen that never wears out its welcome, repeat after repeat after repeat.
– Nicholas J.