Menomena produce music that represents what has become of progressive rock, their music enveloping the listener in wonderfully disjointed compositions that smack of arena rock minus the oppressive ego that facilitates such a genre. Mines, the band’s fourth studio album, is no different, melding their technical ability with a newfound sensitivity.
Brent Knopf delivers vocals in a similar way to Damon Albarn, with lyrics crudely shaped by his distinctively laidback delivery and wonderfully crafted style.
“Queen Black Acid,” the opening track, is by far the most commercially accessible. It combines simplicity with a modern rock sensibility that could see the band getting their music into many relaxing playlists.
It would not be a stretch to compare Mines with earlier works from Kings of Leon, though Menomena’s eclectic and widespread ability across established rock genres place them awkwardly in a position where global popularity may well be lost indefinitely.
The band’s technical prowess was proven with 2007’s Friend and Foe. With Mines, they continue to cement in place that ability. With the addition of a solid emotional foundation their music has flourished, taking it to a new level.
There is no denying the band’s vast ability, and Mines is no less than a work of mainstream defiance. But occasionally, is it apparent that their inability to settle on a specific subgenre is their downfall and the call for their unjustifiable lack of a die-hard following.