Menomena
Moms


4.5
superb

Review

by War On Drugs: Suck My Cock USER (20 Reviews)
September 24th, 2012 | 80 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Menomena tighten up their sound and release their ballsiest album yet.

Portland indie rockers Menomena have always been both underrated and innovative, creating music that was distinctly their own and no one else's. They became known for their catchy, frantic, and sometimes messy, yet ultimately brilliant work on 2003's I Am the Fun Blame Monster and 2007 follow-up Friend and Foe. Then, in 2010, came a curveball; Mines. The recording of Mines was especially difficult for the trio, who were experiencing growing tensions with the group. The result was a slightly more impenetrable record that held little of the immediate punch of Blame Monster or Friend and Foe. It was an excellent album overall, but at the same time one could not help but feel that Menomena weren't living up to their full potential.

Then, last year, Brent Knopf announced his departure from the band. Reinvigorated as a duo, Justin Harris and Danny Seim quickly formed Moms in their shortest gap between albums to date. And, lo and behold, Moms just might be their strongest record to date.

The departure of Brent Knopf has changed their music significantly, and ultimately for the best. Moms is their ballsiest, most "rock" album yet, and it packs much of the same punch as tracks like "TAOS" and "The Pelican" on previous albums. Menomena deftly combine classic rock influences and bring it all together with a modern touch. Although much of their quirkiness seems to have been lost with Knopf, it makes little difference, as Moms presents the maturity record that Mines could have been. Menomena truly feel like a rock band, perhaps for the first time ever.

Menomena have always been great at opening their albums, and Moms is no different in that regard. "Plumage" opens up the record with frantic synths and handclaps, with Harris yelling "And I don't want to be just anybody to you, I want to be your one and only." It's a touching love song and a fitting way to open such an energetic record. After "Plumage," Moms never once lets up. Every song presents Menomena at their catchiest, heaviest, and most creative. Gone are the relative fillers such as "Running" or "Trigga Hiccups" that marked their previous albums; every song is a standout, and a few of them rank among the best songs of their career. "Heavy Is As Heavy Does" is one of the most emotionally impacting things they've ever made, opening with the line that characterizes much of the lyrical content on Moms: "Heavy are the branches hanging from my ***ed up family tree." This time around, much more attention has been payed to the lyrics; previous albums featured often cryptic or sometimes senseless little tidbits that weren't terrible, yet were also usually nothing special.

With their fourth record and first as a duo, Menomena have tightened up virtually every aspect of their music and have released what might be their strongest record to date. Those skeptical of what the band might produce minus one Brent Knopf need not fear. Although Moms presents a group that sounds quite a bit different from what they used to be, it also presents the group at their absolute best.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
September 24th 2012


5816 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review. i loved mines but couldnt get into this, though i hardly tried

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2012


16114 Comments


"Those skeptic of what the band might produce..."

should be 'skeptical' there but enjoyed reading, pos'd

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2012


10545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

finally a review of this glorious record

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2012


23976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

omg reviews for new Menomena and Mountain Goats back to back. will read.

Digging: Marketa Irglova - Muna

RosaParks
September 24th 2012


14972 Comments


never heard this but I'm gonna take a shot in the dark and guess it's indie

RosaParks
September 24th 2012


14972 Comments


swag will check

RosaParks
September 24th 2012


14972 Comments


when im done thrashin out yeah

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2012


23976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great review man. i don't agree that Mines left us wanting but I do think this is probably their strongest album yet. i really do love this band.

barcafan21
September 25th 2012


1924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"ballsiest"

pos'd

HighandDriving
September 25th 2012


3288 Comments


Can someone with good taste tell me the only good 3 tracks from this.

Loved That teeth song, dirty cartoon, and that otha song.

HighandDriving
September 25th 2012


3288 Comments


Should I have bolded good taste?

HighandDriving
September 25th 2012


3288 Comments


lol

MrHorrible
September 25th 2012


20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wish I shared the excitement about this, but it’s definitely my least favorite Menomena album. To me, they’ve always been a band with 3-4 great/perfect songs per album that stand out among other good/solid songs, and this one is almost the same but to a lesser degree. The opener is a good example of the whole thing--very good, but it’s no Muscle’n Flo or Queen Black Acid. Pique and Baton are great, but still don’t crack my top ten of their songs.



Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2012


23976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

HighandDriving I hate you but Heavy is as Heavy Does is the best (most people agree on that). and Dirty Cartoons is my favourite Menomena song.

but still, you suck.

MrHorrible
September 25th 2012


20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dirty Cartoons def top 10. I get a little extra kick out of it cuz like them I grew up in church and later rejected it, and that song is their most blatantly church-influenced. Not lyrically but melodically, especially the last half when all the vocal parts come together.


Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2012


23976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

have you guys seen the take-away show where they play it acoustically walking around Paris? oh man it's one of my favourite videos on the internet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHoqxNH9f2Y

SeaAnemone
September 25th 2012


20834 Comments


good call Aids, I < 3 takeaway shows so much

HighandDriving
September 25th 2012


3288 Comments


HighandDriving I hate you but Heavy is as Heavy Does is the best (most people agree on that). and Dirty Cartoons is my favourite Menomena song.

but still, you suck.


Eh I got love for the hayders I don't know.

Thanks for the help.

farglesnuff
September 26th 2012


241 Comments


didnt know this was even coming out. i can dig it.

CaptainDooRight
September 27th 2012


30252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like the fuzz on this



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