Menomena - Friend and Foe

Music Reviews Menomena
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Menomena - Friend and Foe

On third LP, asymmetrical repetition alludes to secret logic of band’s music.

Menomena is essentially a poppy post-rock group—isolated bass pulsates mechanically on “Muscle’n flo,” ice-blue keys deliquesce on “Rotten Hell,” tonally rough-edged vocals tangle in concertina-wire guitars on “The Pelican.” But the band’s process separates it from its peers. Menomena uses software of its own design to record loops; the band then pieces the loops together into songs it learns to replicate on live instruments, which explains why these unabashed rockers are so redolent of hip-hop. Sometimes one wishes more attention had been paid to catchy melodies than disrupted structures, but Friend and Foe compensates for its occasional melodic malaise with its vigorous, exploratory prosody.