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Menomena – Mines May 30, 2010

Posted by gwyoung in Album Reviews, Music.
Tags: ,

Artist: Menomena

Album: Mines

Release: Barsuk, 2010

Genre: Rock

RIYD: Music, life, happiness

I’m going to make this review short, not just because my past few album reviews have been rather lengthy and exhausting to write, but because the goal here is different from the usual: instead of going into depth about the whos, whats, whys, and hows of the album, I want to convince you to give a listen to Menomena’s newest masterpiece, Mines, in as few words as possible.

I feel this way because Mines is an instant indie rock classic, comparable to notables like Funeral and Apologies To The Queen Mary, and as such is one of the first essential releases of the new decade. An album like this comes along very rarely: the most recent of its caliber was Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, the album that dominated almost every year-end list of 2009 (and we all know how warm and gushy I felt about that one.) Actually, I’ve noted quite a few similarities between Merriweather and Mines, though more in spirit than in actual sound, that may help to explain why everyone needs to hear the latter (and no, it’s not just because they both share an affinity for gimmicky album art.) Like MPP was for Animal Collective, Mines is an amalgamation of all of Menomena’s various works thus far that combines the classic loop-based rock of their claim to fame, Fun Blame Monster, with hints of the lengthy jams of Under An Hour and the more cutesy Friend And Foe as well as a whole slew of twists and turns that explore entirely new territory. Also like Merriweather, this album shows that elusive mastery of a sound that usually takes several releases to accomplish; a sound that combines the fun of sonic experimentation with catchy and accessible pop sensibility but still retains that unique essence that is inherently Menomena. No other band could have made this, and, though many may try to imitate it, no other band ever will again. Mines stands alone as Menomena’s magnum opus (at least until their next effort, if all goes well) and, now that we’re on the other side of its emergence into this world, it seems like everything thus far has been building up to it.

I guess that wasn’t as short as I had planned, but I hope you’re convinced nonetheless. If not, just listen to the selections below, which include the Good News-era Modest Mouse-influenced opener “Queen Black Acid” and the horn-based lead single “Five Little Rooms”, and you’re sure to be clamoring for more:



1. Ramona Falls – Prophet « safer in the dark - April 26, 2012

[…] shed their cuteness in favor of a darker, grittier, more rock & roll sound on 2010′s Mines, Ramona Falls follows in step with the release of […]

2. Pop Winds – Earth To Friend « safer in the dark - May 1, 2012

[…] Post Pavilion and incorporating the pulsating brass instrumentals found throughout Menomena’s Mines (and then later as the basis for Colin Stetson’s work). While the first half of The Turquoise […]

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