Saturday, June 5, 2010

Menomena - Mines (2010) (Entry 2.0)

1 Queen Black Acid
2 Taos
3 Killemall
4 Dirty Cartoons
5 Tithe
6 Bote
7 Lunchmeat
8 Oh Pretty Boy, You're Such a Big Boy
9 Five Little Rooms
10 Sleeping Beauty
11 Intil

I've listened to this new full-length LP I count four times now and a few things about it stand out. It is very much a *complete* start-to-finish record in that I enjoy every track and don't desire to every skip any song on it. The production and atmosphere is fulfilling enough to be maybe the strongest qualities about it. Comparing it to their other two proper full-lengths (2007's "Friend and Foe" and 2003's "I Am the Fun Blame Monster!") it doesn't have as many trademark melodies, nor does it flow quite as well as a larger work. But I still am not finding at this stage, that to matter. They still include the wonderful percussion and subtle, piano, that at times are what I love the most about this band. Their songwriting is consistent. They have their own sound, as I really can't compare them directly to any other group. Ramona Falls and the other related projects would be the only things close, but with the 3 different singers and collaborations, Menomena's songwriting here is at another level from the side-projects.

Some specific things worth mentioning I guess are the slide-guitar work in "Bote"..the echoing piano melody in "Killemall" the climax at the end of "Sleeping Beauty" and the pretty ballad that ends this record "Intil." The Saxophone, fuzz guitar, vague yet personal lyrics, have not been abandoned from their earlier material. These guys are masters at less being more. At creating a rich, warm, acoustic/organic tone and sound. As quirky and stripped down as their music is, the emotion is always felt.

Perhaps this record will expose them to larger audience, because in terms of the songwriters that deserve more recognition than they have received, the members of Menomena are about as deserving of success as any.


What kind of artwork and packaging it comes with is maybe the biggest curiosity for me now, along with how well it ages over the course of the year. But right now, I feel comfortable with this being the best album I've heard of 2010 save for The River Empires.