Four years ago, we tried to catch Menomena at SxSW at a 2am set. After a never-ending sound check and many technical mishaps on stage, we bailed before they went on. We were drunk and bitter, so we split. I’ve since regretted leaving because I’ve become fairly obsessed with Meonomena in the ensuing years.
After what seemed like an interminable wait, Menomena has delivered a much anticipated follow up to Friend and Foe and, my Lord, was it worth the wait. Much like when I listened to The Morning Benders’ Big Echo for the first time, I was left grasping for words on how to best express my appreciation of this album. The threesome are less reliant on their production techniques this time around which makes the music less jarring and more accessible.
After a warm -up of sorts with the opening track, Menomena jolts you with the jumper cables on “TAOS.” Full of tempo changes, spastic chords and a chugging horn, it embodies the features that first drew me to the band on their previous album. “Dirty Cartoons” alternates between a folk and prog-rock, going back and forth without much fanfare and ending in lovely harmonies.
I could continue to break down every tune on the album but that would set get tiring for both of us. I would urge you to delve into this album and enjoy it as a complete meal – sort of like a degustation menu. You might feel overwhelmed and bloated at the end, but you’ll definitely be satisfied.