Meneguar
Strangers in Our House


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
December 29th, 2007 | 24 replies | 5,961 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Best indie album of 2007?

Meneguar - Strangers in Our House

As much as I'm a music elitist, I purposefully try to not be a music hipster. I furtively check out pitchfork not to find new bands to rep, but to find which bands I should avoid. With the exception of the bizarre and singular Xiu Xiu, I don't think I've done much bandwagon jumping in terms of bands that get high metascores or can be called Best New Music by popular reviewing outposts. So it is with great pleasure that I discovered Meneguar, a band that seems to have both slipped under the radar of these fashionista reviewing websites yet would appeal on all levels to such sites. And it is with even greater pleasure that I realized Meneguar is a favorite of the hardcore scene, being one of those indie bands like Murder by Death or Cursive that are lauded by fans of heavier music for whatever reason. Meneguar is a band that is forged from the indie fires that should make them appeal to fans of bands like Wolf Parade but has been hidden away in the most obscure hardcore blogs.

This pleasure of mine is a sick one though. It's a jealous pleasure that I could have a slick Brooklyn indie band all to myself. I'd be content just keeping Meneguar to myself if they were just some local scrubs with no greater designs than to play a few shows and toss out a demo EP or something. However, Strangers in Our House is Meneguar's second LP and they haven't gotten any formal reviews from major reviewing sites. To be honest, they're so damn good, they actually should be shared with the greater world of hipsters, elitists, and casual musical consumers alike. Their style and aesthetic is fairly simple. They are a riff-based rock band with very upbeat drumming and basswork. The vocals are a bit off of center veering towards melodic shouting most of the time, and that is accompanied by somewhat opaque lyrics that keep the listener at arm's length with a certain sardonic attitude. Wow, in premise they sound like slews of other indie bands and it's this premise that enables Meneguar to be so catchy and accessible. On the surface they're just another indie band, but underneath that, there is quite a bit brewing.

Firstly, the songwriting is clutch. There isn't a song on Strangers in our House that slips through the cracks of one's memory. Each song will invariably have a passage that can snag the listener. Most will have more than three such passages. Even songs that start off awkwardly like "Scrape and a Pull" are redeemed rather quickly. In that song's case it is the wonderful interplay of guitar and bass starting at 0:46 that makes me forget about the goofy, dissonant introduction. Secondly, is that Meneguar is a riff-based band, which enables awesome interplay between the instruments. The album starts off proudly displaying the interweaving of Meneguar's riffs on "Table 2." The guitars and bass are all playing tremolo melodies that overlap polyphonically like a Bach chorale more than a modern rock anthem. The album is laden with cool undulating bass riffs, staccato lead guitar lines, and smooth arpeggios in the rhythm guitar (though admittedly the lines are massively blurred between melody / harmony and lead / rhythm on the bivalent guitar playing). Thirdly, is the upbeat tempo of the album. A lot of the success of Strangers in Our House comes from the guitar-bass interplay and how that fits into the songwriting, but all of these positive would be null if the songs plodded or droned along. The drumming, which is casually very sophisticated for a riff-rock band, creates an uptempo, fun attitude that permeates the album. The drum performance only wanes on the last three tracks as the album fittingly wanes into slower, more pensive tracks that sound a lot like the slow songs of Frodus or No Knife, which is not a band thing.

Overall, Strangers in Our House is an impressive album. It has the surface appeal to ensnare radio listeners who typically can't get beyond Franz Ferdinand, but it also has enough going on underneath the catchiness for it to appeal to fans of the sophisticated songwriting of abstruse indie or convoluted post-hardcore. Meneguar are one band I wouldn't mind getting a car on the hype train. They deserve it.



Recent reviews by this author
Deftones Diamond EyesThrice Beggars
dredg The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusionmaudlin of the Well Part the Second
Mastodon Crack the SkyeTrophy Scars Bad Luck
user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
recommended by reviewer
No Knife Riot for Romance!

Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2007



6073 Comments


I was hooked by the end of the second paragraph. Coupled with the two samples, this seems right up my alley. Very good review, as usual.

p.s. thx?

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 29th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll put this up on my blog with good time. I'm going to do my Top 15 list with reviews and D/Ls so wait til then.

The Jungler
December 29th 2007



4827 Comments


This sounds really good. Nice review as well.

Kyle
December 30th 2007



667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sounds cool, I'm gonna check it out. I think the sheer energy you put into disassociating yourself with pitchfork is kind of funny, but it's a good review nontheless.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 30th 2007



2125 Comments


I checked them out a while ago when they were mentioned in the Hardcore forum and I wasn't all that impressed, but I feel I should give them another shot.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 30th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the sheer energy you put into disassociating yourself with pitchfork is kind of funny


I find such efforts to be pleasurable.

JAD
December 31st 2007



200 Comments


Both streaming tracks are awesome, as is the review. I'll definitly be checking this out soon.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 31st 2007



2806 Comments


I'll probably dig this.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 31st 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also the streaming tracks sorta suck. The part of "Bury a Flower" is only a demo and "The Temp" isn't even on this album.

Kyle
January 2nd 2008



667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album got Pitchfork'd today.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/47589-strangers-in-our-houseThis Message Edited On 01.02.08

plane
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2008



6073 Comments


Now that we're talking about it, 2006:
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/37004-i-was-born-at-night

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 5th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ahahhahaha I just noticed these two articles on my own at the site. That's pretty funny.

astrel
January 22nd 2008



2613 Comments


These guys put on a really really good live show. Especially considering the bassist blew his amp in the middle of their set.

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2008



6073 Comments


this is great

Bleak123
November 1st 2008



1902 Comments


Well I pretty much want this.

handoman
November 16th 2008



2380 Comments


This is really good

JokesorInsults
January 19th 2009



244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album; Table 2 is one of my favorite songs.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 26th 2009



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is tight, don't know how i've missed it until now

Roach
October 26th 2009



2149 Comments


this is pretty great yeah

aesopfox
May 18th 2010



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a friend of mine hooked me up with "i was born at night" after he snagged a copy at a show. been a fan since. this album has everything from the first and more. it's augustus to trajan.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy