Mines could be Menomena’s best album yet. And it may even bring them into focus a little more. While this is their third masterful collection (the fourth album technically, though I’m not counting Under an Hour) I know precious few who have heard of Menomena. This could be for the very same reason that Grizzly Bear didn’t hit it big till their third album (with the experimental grit catching in people’s teeth before it later became more palatable for the listener).
Perhaps it’s because before now the albums have shifted clumsily between one song and the next, not caring too much about transition or flow. This is one of the biggest changes for Mines. That, and that there is a little more beauty here. The added loveliness could be a result of the influence of band member Brent Knopf’s recent side project Ramona Falls.
Beginning somewhat strangely like old Kings of Leon, the album shifts quickly towards the band’s signature graduation of each song, once more employing sax, piano and distorted guitar to flesh out a work which at times lashes out in bitter fury, and at other times sighs sadly.
Here’s a little taste of the new album, and one of my favourites from I Am the Fun Blame Monster.