Music News

Menomena

Menomena's music is supposedly synthetic in origin. The Portland trio reportedly composes many of its songs on looping software created by one of its members, multi-instrumentalist Brent Knopf. In reality, though, those songs sound far more organic than the average computer-driven drivel. Sure, after a few spins you can pick out the loops and samples, but for the most part, they're seamless. Menomena also fancies itself as something of an envelope-pusher -- or "experimental," as the band's press sheet asserts. Thing is, Menomena doesn't sound experimental. In fact, the group's latest effort, Friend or Foe, is extremely accessible. Creating grandiose textures with a Pet Sounds sort of playfulness, the three-piece leads a Bowie-esque excursion through heaping layers of Flaming Lips guitars, keys, bells and spaciously recorded drumbeats that could have been lifted from any of the Lips' last three discs. The result is songs that get better and more interesting with repeated listens.
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon