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Menomena : Friend And Foe  

Written by: Corey Tate

Menomena are back with their new Friend And Foe, an experimental and original new album with a growing sense of confidence in their sound. This is their first offering on the Seattle-based Barsuk Records, and they're off to a good start, starting with the first song.

Muscle N'Flo comes out like a pop gem from the world of unorthodox sounds. The piano loops, the rythym, the growing guitar line all build into a cohesive mix of sound and structure to work into a rocking, teetering mass. Then they break it all down to nothing and start over again with the build. No fear, these guys. They know they'll keep your attention the whole time.

Menomena are completely self-reliant, doing all of their own recording, engineering, mixing and producing on all of their albums, including Friend And Foe.

Menomena use a practice they call 'Deeler Sessions' to construct songs, in which the band uses a program written by Keyboard Guy /Guitarist Brent Knopf to loop sound files together. The band then works to lay instrumentation and vocals over the top of the loops, combining one part found sound structure and one part songwriting to come up with an experimental way of creating music. One part spontaneous creation, one part determined songcraft.

For a loop-based structure, this music sounds suprisingly non-repetitive. The songs are determined efforts to break things apart into sections and builds, like some sort of experimental symphony of indie rock.

What's interesting is where they end up. For such an unconventional songwriting style, Menomena's music ends up being pop-minded, with an accesibility that merges both convention and found structure into avante pop.

 MP3: Menomena



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