Where once stood a trio of rockers, Menomena now stands as a duo of rockers from Portland. Though, from the full sound of their 5th studio album, Mom, you would really never guess it. Their attack is aggressive at times, and their sound is never less than full.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the sound of Menomena at first. Even after having listened to the first couple of tracks, Plumage, and Capsule, I still wasn’t quite sure what it was that I was experience. Not familiar with the band, I assumed this was a first album. The approach to the songs seemed to be that of “Let’s see how many instruments and sounds we can throw in here”. Oddly, it worked though. What should have been a jangled mess emerged into something that was oddly cohesive. Distorted guitars, saxophones, loud bass…all coming together effortlessly.
After these almost experimental sounding tracks I was really surprised when I came to the track, Pique. I was just not expecting the level of sophistication I was hearing in the composition here. The song intro was just effortless and engaging, relying on a simple drone and gradual addition of other instruments into a melody that was simple and sweet. Heavy Is As Heavy Does, again, showcased a band that is fully aware how to construct a memorable song. The piano work is the focus for most of the beginning, in a subdued manner, but by the end, the song has built to full epic levels with some guitar work that sounds like controlled chaos.
I’m really not sure that I could pick my favourite tracks off of Moms. The album is one that, quite simply, just keeps getting better each time I listen to it. The first time, I really loved Baton and the incredible opening drum riffs that drove it. The next time I listened, it was the 70’s rock meets acid jazz feel of Giftshoppe that I was captivated by.
If Menomena has been flying under your radar like it has mine, do yourself a serious favour and listen to them. Do it now. Have you listened yet? Ok. Now you see what I mean.
Go listen to it again.