I’ve always really liked Menomena. They have an experimental edge that somehow always gives way to great hooks and catchy rhythms, making them at once accessible and yet continually rewarding upon repeat listens. I can’t tell you how long I’ve had Friend and Foe in my car, listening to it over and over again without getting tired of it in the slightest.
In their latest album, Moms, Menomena continues to utilize complex composition and experimentation without sacrificing melody and rhythm. From this starting point, each song can sound incredibly different and yet they come together in a way unique to Menomena. Standout tracks include “Plumage,” with Menomena’s excellent vocal hooks and breakdown into the bari sax, and “Pique” with its rich sounds, dramatic buildup, and fat horn section. Menomena manages to bring in crazy looped sounds in “Giftshoppe,” strings in the plodding “One Horse,” and an organ in “Baton” to great effect. Nothing seems forced here though. Complexity without pretention. Simplicity hiding under experimentation. Driving rhythms and great melodies. The kind of stuff that really inspires me. Its all great fun.
Moms is a great release from Menomena. I don’t think it has quite the standing power as Friend and Foe, but is still a great introduction to the band, and definitely one to pick up if you’re already a fan.