Music August 10, 2010 By Lily Moayeri

filler133 Menomena: Mines

Barsuk Records

Barsuk Records

menomena title Menomena: Mines
This Portland, Oregon, threesome is known for its free-form experimental style of progressive rock. Electronic instrumentation and vocals that sound like discount Damon Albarn have resulted in Menomena being filed in the indie slot. On its fourth full-length, Mines, the trio have created a scaffold upon which to arrange its wandering jams. Not losing its exploratory tendencies or curbing its quality musicianship, Menomena has used this framework to create defined songs instead of dense, meandering sounds. More emotional than before, the unfortunately named “Oh Pretty Boy, You’re Such A Big Boy” offers honking horns and measured organ stabs that speak straight from the heart. Theatrical to the extreme, the chorus of “Five Little Rooms” blasts against tethered piano and thunderous drum work. While these two are the standouts on Mines the album has a solid hold on melody that has eluded Menomena in the past. The band is developing a distinct song structure without losing any musical chops in the process — the best of both worlds.

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