Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Case You Forgot: Menomena- I Am the Fun Blame Monster!

This is the first in a series of reminders of great albums of past years that may have sliped through the collective cracks. Menomena is based in Portland, and released their debut album, I Am the Fun Blame Monster! in 2004. Recorded using a homemade computer recording looping program thingy, I Am the Fun Blame Monster! is an incredibly well-structured rock album. The music has sort of a fractured quality - verses, choruses, vocals, guitar and piano riffs all start, stop and return without warning, keeping listeners on their toes, yet not ailienating them by throwing out a million different musical ideas without developing any of them long enough to give them emotional resonancy (see: Fiery Furnaces). Underneath the interesting production and instrumentation are great pop songs - much more organic sounding than their computer-based origins would seem to suggest. The band uses the samples and loops and effects to compliment the music, instead of letting it take over, as so many computer-based artists tend to. It is as engaging and interesting album as you're going to find from a little band out of Portland. Listen if you like: more experimental Blur, less experimental Neutral Milk Hotel.

Menomena- The Late Great Libido

Menomena- Twenty Cell Revolt

Oh, and the new Walkmen album makes my teeth sweat. More on that closer to the 5/23/06 release date.


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