What Does That Mean?
A band whose name is not a word but rather a meaningless sound has to make interesting music, right? Menomenaâ€šÃ„Ã´s third release Friend and Foe has countless styles and influences making it one of the more original and diverse releases in recent memory. Menomena refuse to be put in a box. Their instrumentation comes out of left field with huge bass drum sounds and thumping orchestral horns and strings, only to digress into simple piano and vocal melodies. Most of that singing on Friend and Foe sounds oddly familiar. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s as if Menomena wrote average pop-rock hooks but recorded them with all the wrong instrumentsâ€šÃ„Ã¬or maybe all the right ones.
ame Band members Brent Knopf, Justin Harris and Danny Seim all share instruments and sing here, resulting in little repetition on the record especially in the realm of vocals. â€šÃ„ÃºEvil Beeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ sounds like Phish circa Billy Breathes, â€šÃ„ÃºMy Myâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is reminiscent of Daniel Johnston and â€šÃ„ÃºThe Pelicanâ€šÃ„Ã¹ could almost come from yet another solo project from Wolf Parade frontman Spencer Krug. Menomena even use a computer program called Deeler that digitally loops music, providing band members with a truly democratic process for recording.
ame Friend and Foe is a record people will look back on ten years from now and praise for how groundbreaking and revolutionary it is. It truly has something for everyone yet is not inaccessible or hard to like as a whole. Rather, Menomena weave a thread through all the songs here, making them fit together unexpectedly and perfectly.